A future star lands in a record market (19% share!)
If the overall automotive market had a horrible 2020 (-26% YoY), with the 1.7 million units of this year being the lowest result since 1975, plugin sales continue steaming hot, with sales jumping four fold regarding the same month of 2019, with PHEVs (up 5-fold, to 15,168 units) growing faster than BEVs (20,734 units), allowing them to have a 42% share among plugins in December, another impressive result in this traditionally BEV-friendly market, and above the 40% share they ended in the whole year.
These disruptive numbers are also reflecting on the plugin share, as last month it reached a record 19% (11% BEV), pulling the final 2020 share to 11% (6,7% BEV), a far cry from the 3% of 2019.
Interestingly, the current market disruption is also benefiting HEVs, as they doubled their share this year from 5% to 10% share, so 2020 ended with 21% of the total sales coming from electrified models, up from 8% in the previous year, an amazing progression, while petrol lost 11% share in the last 12 months, from the 58% of 2019, to the current 47%, while diesel lost just 3% share, to the current 31%.
With the 2020 plugin share firm in the two-digit region, expect this market to be disrupted further next year. Let's say...20% by the end of 2021?
Looking at last month Best Sellers, if the winner was the usual Renault Zoe, below it, there was a surprise, with the Peugeot models taking the month off, as the French brand had already complied with the EU's 2020 CO2 rules, the 208 EV runner-up spot was up for grabs, and the taker of it was the VW ID.3, that scored a surprising 2,550 registrations, now, how much of them were self registrations in order to comply with the CO2 rules is anyone's guess, but looking through that angle, the same can be said about a lot of last month record performances...
But the most surprising performance in December belonged to the small Dacia Spring EV, that landed with 1,721 units, a new record, this result gains even more dimension when we realize these first deliveries months are destined to demonstration units and fleets, with regular deliveries to private buyers only expect to happen in Q3 2021...
With the small Dacia said to have an unbeatable price, the Chinese-built EV could be come a big success story in Europe (and Latin America? India? Africa?), as it breaks new ground price-wise, as it is expected to be more than 5,000€ cheaper than the current cheapest EV sold in Europe...
Speaking of City EVs, it seems this category is the new hot stuff in France, with 3 representatives in the December Top 6, as not only the Dacia Spring EV won the Bronze medal, but the fresh Fiat 500e was 4th, with 1,545 units in only its 2nd month on the market, and the also recent Renault Twingo was 6th, with 1,353 units, a new record for the tiny French EV. And let's not forget the veteran VW e-Up, that scored a record performance in December, with 525 deliveries.
On the PHEV side, the market is less concentrated, so on this category there's only one model with a 4-digit score, with the Renault Captur PHEV registering 1,437 units, but nevertheless, there was plenty to talk about:
- Mercedes continued to push its PHEV models, in particular the SUVs, with all 3 of them hitting record scores (GLA - 596 units; GLC - 712; GLE - 490), as it ran until the last day of the year to comply with the 2020 CO2 rules;
- Same story with the Three-pointed-Star arch-rival, BMW, with the Bavarian maker reaching record results with their SUVs (X1 PHEV - 405 units; X3 PHEV - 660; X5 - 482), while its British affiliate Mini did the same with its Countryman PHEV crossover, that registered a record 414 deliveries. Now, how much of this is actual demand, and how much is CO2 compliance? Mmmm...discuss.
At the bottom of this Top 20, a reference to the record 511 deliveries of the SEAT Leon PHEV, with the spicy Spaniard beating its more corporate minded cousin, the VW Golf PHEV, that ended in #21, with 501 units, that nevertheless is a new record for the German model.
Outside this Top 20, a reference to the 318 registrations of the hatchback desguised as crossover Kia Xceed PHEV, so it seems this crossover between a Crossover and a Hatchback (a CCUV - Crossover Crossover Utility Vehicle?!?) has struck a chord among French PHEV buyers.
Looking at the 2020 ranking, the Renault Zoe continued its winning streak in 2020 (it is the Best Seller in France since 2013...), this time followed by the Peugeot 208 EV, that was somewhat disappointing in 2020, as i expected it to end closer to the Renault rival, but then again, who could tell the Zoe would almost double its 2019 score (18,817 units)?
And looking at the bright side, it was the first time since 2012 that a Peugeot model ended in the podium (the tiny iOn was 2nd then), so you got to start somewhere, right?
The last position of the podium changed hands in December, with the Peugeot 3008 PHEV losing the Bronze medal to the Tesla Model 3, thus makig a fully BEV podium, while below them, the rising Renault Captur PHEV jumped to 5th, with the small Renault crossover now being the strongest candidate for the 2021 Best Selling PHEV trophy, which would grant Renault both BEV and PHEV trophies next year...Not bad, eh?
The Climber of the Month was the VW ID.3, that came from below the Top 20 into #9, in the last stage of the 2020 race, which is a good start for the 2021 race, where the German hatchback will try to beat the Tesla Model 3 and become the Best Selling Foreign model in France.
On the second half of the table, we have the Citroen C5 PHEV climbing two spots, to #13, while the #22 VW e-Up was the Best Selling City EV in 2020, a title that the veteran model should have for the last time in its possession, considering the slew of new models (Dacia Spring EV, Fiat 500e, Renault Twingo EV...), all with Top 20 ambitions in 2021.
Looking at the 2020 Best Selling Full size model, the honour went to the Porsche Cayenne PHEV, that with 2,157 deliveries, it beat the BMW X5 PHEV (1,867 units), while the category Best Selling BEV was the Audi e-Tron, with 804 registrations.
Looking at the brands ranking, the leader was, as always, Renault, with 24% (down 1%), with the runner-up Peugeot (17%, down 2%) at a safe distance, while the last place in the podium was disputed by a long list of brands, with Mercedes (5%) taking the Bronze medal in the end.