Thursday, April 15, 2021

France March 2021


Tesla Model 3 #1 in France! 

In a red hot market, where BEVs jumped 183% YoY and PHEVs shooted 6-fold in March, plugin sales had their second best month ever, with 29,737 units, allowing the plugin share to reach 16% last month (8.5% BEV), pulling the YTD share to a record 14% (6.9% BEV), which is already a 3% increase over the 2020 result (11%), and the 20% share i predicted for the whole of this year looks well on target. 

So, this is what Disruption looks like... 

...And Disruption is on display on the last month Best Sellers table, with the highlight being the extraordinary performance of the Tesla Model 3, with the 4,524 deliveries allowing it to become the first foreign model to win Gold in France, with almost 3x as much units as the runner-up Peugeot 208 EV, but also allowing it to join for the first time the Top 10 in the overall market (it was 9th), AND being March's Best Selling Foreign model in France, period. 

This is a true historic moment, putting this into context to our US readers, this is like the VW ID.4 in a few months beating the Tesla Model 3 in the USA. Unimaginable, right? Well, that's what happened here to the once all-conquering Renault Zoe...

And adding insult to injury, the Zoe once again failed to win a podium seat, as the remaining podium positions were to the arch-rival Peugeot, with the small 208 EV winning Silver and the crossover 3008 PHEV taking Bronze, thanks to a record 1,571 units, beating the Renault models in both BEV and PHEV categories.

But not all were bad news for Renault, the #6 Renault Twingo EV managed to keep its Stellantis rival Fiat 500e at bay, while the compact Megane PHEV joined the table for the first time, in #19, thanks to a record 423 units.   

One of the problems that Renault has in its home market, is that it's holding on the fort almost by its own, as Mitsubishi is basically a non-entity in France, Nissan is living from (hard) discounting the Leaf, and the Dacia Spring is still in its first baby steps, while on the other side of the wall, the Stellantis conglomerate had 7 models from 5 different brands in the March Top 20, 3 (Peugeot 3008 PHEV, Peugeot 2008 EV and Jeep Compass PHEV) of them with record performances. They even allowed themselves to grant Opel an off month...Impressive stuff, isn't it? 

Elsewhere, a mention to the record score of the Mercedes GLC300e/de, with 778 registrations, while the Mini Cooper EV joined the table, in #16, thanks to a record 499 deliveries, and the VW ID.3 showed up in (a still discreet) #13, but Volkswagen has brighter news elsewhere, the VW Tiguan PHEV landed on the market immediately in #20, with 417 registrations in March, only 9 units ahead of another Volkswagen landing, with the much antecipated ID.4 starting its career in #21, with 408 units, just one unit ahead of the #22 VW Golf PHEV. Maybe one of the reasons for the ID.3 below par performances has to do with internal competition?

Still below the Top 20, a mention to the 360 deliveries of the Audi A3 PHEV, a new record for the nameplate, while the BMW X1 PHEV had 376 registrations, which could mean that the compact Beemer might show up on the table soon.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, once again the main news is the disruptive force of the Tesla Model 3, that shooted for the leadership, not only of the plugin market, but more importantly, on the overall midsize market, profiting from last month unusual high tide to secure the midsize leadership, with twice the amount of units of the runner-up Peugeot 508 (2,326 registrations). Funny enough, the French midsizer has 42% of its sales coming from their PHEV versions, which speaks volumes about the current electrification transition happening now.

Another model jumping positions is the Mercedes GLC300e/de, going up from #15 to #11. 

In the city car category, the Renault Twingo EV climbed one position and gained some distance from the #8 Fiat 500e.  

On the second half of the table, we now have the VW ID.3 up to #15, while March saw 3 models joining the table, with the Nissan Leaf in #18, the Mini Cooper EV in #19 and the Renault Megane PHEV in #20.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, the leader Peugeot dropped 4% in share, to 18%, but it is (still) enough to stay ahead of the runner-up Renault (15%, down 1%), while Tesla (9% share, up 5%) is now closing the podium, ahead of Kia and Volkswagen, both with 5% each.

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force, with a commanding 31% share, with the Renault-Nissan Alliance far behind, with only 16%, while the best foreign OEM is the Volkswagen Group, with 11% share.


  1. Curious that the Peugeot 208 does so much better than the 2008... And it doesn't seem to be a general bias against tiny crossovers, since the Captur does quite well.

    1. Could be an allocation issue, as the 2008 easily outsells the 208 in a number of other markets.

  2. Model 3 winning the entire quarter in this market is quite unexpected and extremely impressive...

    Of course much of this is related to the price reduction -- which was mostly an exchange rate adjustment, but stretched somewhat to now fall into the highest subsidy class, thus adding up to a sudden very significant effective price drop -- and surely won't hold for the rest of the year. Nevertheless, it's quite a surprising result, considering that this is one of very few European markets where Model 3 wasn't at or near the top even back in 2019...

    What makes this particularly impressive is that the Model 3 is in a somewhat niche segment. While it certainly helps that it has the segment pretty much to itself (the Polestar 2 being the only direct competitor), a foreign model dominating the segment (regardless of power train) -- without even having wagon variant -- is very unusual. It suggests that Model 3 still has an enormous pull, drawing in customers who would normally be shopping in other vehicle classes, even as there is an increasing number of decent EVs in other classes now...

    1. Indeed, very impressive... marketing stunt! Focusing its energy on a single model and this model's sales on a single month, with almost 4 times the sales in March than sales of the previous two months combined, meaning they just let most of their customers wait an additional one to two months for this marketing stunt's sake.
      Fact is: Tesla doubled their total vehicle sales numbers YoY (albeit with a lowered margin distribution) while the overall PEV market almost tripled, resulting in a considerable loss of market share - for the first time in the single digits.

      And at the end, its companies that succeed in the market, not brands and definitely not single models. That is, it's the OEMs ranking, casually mentioned in the last sentence, that really tells about the market strengths... Tesla was not even mentioned in that sentence.

    2. Poor Nikita, has to pretend this is a marketing stunt. That’s right - those ships delivering Model 3’s were perfectly coreographed all to arrive in March. Silly Tesla trying to fool us like that. There is obviously such low demand for the model 3 that deliveries have to be bunched up like this to even register in the top 20

    3. Why would Tesla care about PHEV share increasing? More combustion-only vehicle sales being replaced by pseudo-EV sales has zero relevance to Tesla: Tesla is not, never was, and never will be in the business of selling pseudo-EVs.

      Right, Tesla's logistics approach is obviously a marketing ploy... Except maybe you would have noticed, if you weren't blinded by your agenda, they I was explicitly talking about results for the entire quarter. Oops.

      But wait, it gets better! The fact that Tesla hasn't yet introduced more than one mainstream model in Europe has nothing to do with missing factories: it's also a marketing ploy! Truly genius: boost sales efforts by selling fewer products!...

  3. I minor niggle - you keep using word "shooted", it does not means what you think it means. Past tense of verb "shoot" is "shot" (it's an irregular). "Shooted" is an adjective meaning "having shoots", in the plant sense.

    1. english has no standard with put and but pronounced different event though both words have u in the middle. i am still wondering why latin needs upper and lower case letters when most other scripts have only 1 case.

      we are here to talk about electrification of transport.

    2. Being inconsistent (all languages are, to some degree) doesn't mean there is no standard.

      And language standards exist for a good reason: making communication more efficient.

      I'll be sure though to remind you of this episode next time you complain about others' terminology (such as definition of "crossovers" or abbreviations for drivetrain types) :-P

    3. @antrik

      There are million + Jose Pontes in this world who dont know the fact that the word "shooted" has been deprecated. With 1 million word vocabulary, out of which only 50.000 are required words, the other 950.000 are duplicates
      For ex: fine, fantastic, wonderful, marvelous, excellent, first class being a duplicate of good. If someone pronounces differently, that ok. Many say
      "war" "ming" for "warming", is that a problem. But the global warming is a problem.

      But for things, we need standard. Computer is a computer everywhere (at least in English speaking countries) and not computing machine, comp machine, comp, calculator, CR and so on.

      All I am saying is that 1 kg = 1000 gm is the metric standard that made measurements common the world over, similarly let the term crossover be the standard for a 5 door 2 box type vehicle.

    4. Thanks for the heads up, will try to remember that... :-)

    5. @famlin the word "shooted" hasn't be deprecated: it was never the same as "shot".

      There is already a widely accepted term for a five-door two-box vehicle: it's called "hatchback". That's the established standard -- used by pretty much everyone in the world, minus you.

    6. @antrik
      Are all 5 door, 2 box type vehicles called hatchback including the wagon, crossover, suv, mpv. Someone please give me the metrics (length, width, height in mm) to classify a hatchback from the others.

    7. Yes, these can all be considered sub-classes of hatchbacks. The reason they get their own distinct names is that people actually find it useful to make a distinction.

      (No, these can't be pinpointed in terms of millimetres. That's not how people make the distinctions. If you can't think in other terms, I'm sorry for you -- but don't expect the world to cater to that.)

    8. A friend of mine who had BMW X5 said that Lexus RX350 is only a raised wagon even though it stands at 1720 mm height. She did not realize that X5 is also a raised wagon using unibody frame and not a SUV built on truck chassis.

      Thats why we need metrics to clearly differentiate. With most cars (sedans) having ranging in height between 1450 - 1490 mm in height, it makes sense to set 1500 mm as the height as the dividing line between wagon and crossover.

      Otherwise, what is crossover for Joe could be a hatch for Ali. Imagine a country that sets 1 kg = 1.100 g as their standard.

    9. "Raised" is ambiguous, since crossovers typically have both higher ground clearance and a more erect seating position adding up to the total height increase. (And also different styling -- which doesn't matter for practical purposes, aside from reducing efficiency: but people nevertheless care about that...)

      Putting the "dividing line" in a place where it would include many vehicles that *clearly* fall in the sedan or hatchback category by everyone's definition makes no sense whatsoever. And as I pointed out before, a distinction strictly by height makes no sense anyway, since it's more a matter of proportions. (And styling...)

      Also, comparing this with strict standards for measures is a false equivalence. It's neither really possible to define terms for classes of vehicles in such a strict manner (since they are fluent, and always have been) -- nor is it necessary to be precise with this. This is a case where language actually *is* fluent: yet you insist on fixed terms; while at the same arguing against established language standards where they actually exist and make sense...


  4. Mais, que fait Tesla?!

    Lots of 3 deliveries but both X and S are extinct!!
    Is the above par performance for 3 deliveries, related to the canabilization of the remaining internal models?

    2019: 1554 Model 3, 105 Model S, 68 Model X
    2020: 2534 Model 3, 150 Model S, 113 Model X
    2021: 5765 Model 3, 7 Model S, 13 Model X

    1. there is no cannibalization, refreshed Model S/X with yoke steering, plaid are all hot. they just need battery and sufficient chips to get in. Model 3/Y are much smaller and comes in different segment.

      all these trollers got shock on Apr-2 when Tesla said they sold 184.800 vehicles.

      wait for Q2 or Q3 to see the sales of Model S/X.

    2. You seem to have missed that Tesla paused Model S/X production in Q1, as they are upgrading the production lines for the new generation.

    3. Aucune Model S et X n'a été produit ce premier trimestre et seul 2,200 des anciennes versions produites en 2020 ont été globalement livrées. Les nouvelles versions sont encore en essai et on ne sait pas quand Tesla començera à les livrées.

    4. Tesla produced zero S/X in Q1. All 2200 global S/X sales were from Tesla's extremely limited inventory.

    5. Tesla Model S + X sales fell by 20% YoY in 2020.

      Now they stopped production for a while, while trying to produce updated models of these cars that will have abetter chance competing against existing high end models from Volkswagen (Audi e-tron, Porsche Taycan), upcoming Daimler models (EQS!!!) and whatever else hits the road in 2021.

      Competition in the high end segment is getting extremely hot, even in the USA.

    6. AnonymousMay 03, 2021

      There certainly has been cannibalization of S & X. No other explanation for them selling 1/2 what they sold 5+ years ago, despite growing EV adoption in every vehicle segment in every part of the world.

  5. Thank you for this interesting information and background. CU

  6. nice to see French buying 29.737 plugins.
    good that Tesla sold 4.524 Model 3 which is nearly the combined sales of next 3 vehicles.
    hope that ID.3/ID.4 will start selling in high # so that europeans cross 2 million mark.
    seriously, its time to start winding down the incentives. if Tesla can sell so many BEVs with 0 rebate in USA, then the same can be done in other countries.
    by the end of this year, the entire population of the world will be vaccinated.
    we have to get rid of all the energy subsidies which only contributes to inefficiency. 1/3 of vehicles sold in japan are minivehicles with 660 cc 3 cylinder engine. those are good for carrying 4 passengers with some cargo.

    1. We need a minivehicle key-car class in Europe similar to Japan.

      Without EU compulsory crap like unreliable lane assist

      In order to provide affordable mobility.
      Anyway Hong Guang mini EV is coming to Europe. That could work as a sample.

    2. Seriously, you need to stop this stupid ranting against incentives. US market share without incentives for Tesla and GM (but with incentives for others) is less than two percent. We need to get to 100%, ASAP.

    3. @Koogle right, because cheap death-mobiles for everyone is just what we need...

    4. @antrik

      17 million vehicles sold / year * $10.000 = $170 billion; why should the taxpayers pay for this.

      Tesla sold 80% of electric vehicles in USA with $0 rebate, while the rest of the wolf pack could sell only 20% with $7.500 rebate. With more new automakers like Lucid, Rivian coming to market, expect legacy automakers to feel the heat and sell more. Already MachE & ID.4 are in market.

      You have already seen chinese selling so many with small rebate.
      GM reduced the price of their new Bolt by $3.000 since they dont have any rebate. Giving more will only prompt them to increase price and swallow the rebate.

      To move a max of 600 kg (5 passengers * 100 kg + 4 bags * 25 kg), a vehicle weighing 1.800 kg is used and thats average vehicle weight here.
      Many use SUVs weighing 2.000 kg and 20% uses trucks weighing 2.200 kg.
      Dont you feel all these are excessive.

      Maximum, 10 days/year they use it to tow a trailer/boat or buy soil and the remaining 355 days, they use those monsters to commute with 1 passenger most of the time.

    5. I believe at this point incentives should be focussed on cheaper BEVs, maybe less than 40k-50k euro, as for the rest (PHEVs, higher end BEVs...) i think it's time to lower their incentives.

    6. A 50,000 Euro after incentives EV saves just as much emissions over a 50,000 Euro combustion car as a 25,000 Euro after incentives EV saves over a 25,000 Euro combustion car. (Arguably more.) Any calls to exclude more expensive BEVs from incentives are populist nonsense.

    7. I think incentives help create interest and discussion among the public but as we have seen in Europe last year it's really regulation that moves the needle on sales. When they are required to sell EVs the manufacturer's will do all the hard work of increasing sales through greater availability,advertising and price reductions. Government incentives should now be focused elsewhere. In the UK incentives were capped at 35k and reduced by £500 yet many models are now cheaper because manufacturers have reduced prices.

    8. I fully agree with Jose that it is time to reduce incentives for higher priced cars.
      The competition will lead to price reduction then.
      Another methode would be, to reduce incentives for larger batteries.
      Nobody buying an EQS needs any incentives.
      I'd have a bad feeling taking money from taxpayers for such vehicles.

    9. Car is essential: Agreed, but that car is a small hatchback capable of carrying 4 passengers with 2 suitcases; good enough for any trip.
      Claiming that a pickup that can carry 1 ton and towing capacity of 3 tons is essential and that they will purchase electric only if the government gives $10.000 in subsidy for it is atrocious. Most of them buy these pickups to tow their trailer/boat and to buy soil in bulk. If they want ultra-luxury, let them pay for it.

      8 electric pickups are set to launch in USA in 9-18 months. And the governments plan to increase subsidy from $7.500 to $10.000 means I have to pay for someone when I am finding a small car like Leaf being enough for 99% of my trips.

    10. Most major European markets saw a significant increase in incentives last year -- so the growth can't be clearly pinpointed on incentives vs. mandates. In truth it's both adding up. Savings on fines / credits sales have a clear monetary value, that is somewhat equivalent to a direct purchase price subsidy.

      There are important differences, though: while a mandate -- just like any other emission trading scheme -- is very effective in achieving a specific compromise goal written into law after years of fighting lobbyists, once that goal is achieved, the mandate loses any further effect. We have witnessed that many times with various emission trading schemes: and we will witness it again with the fleet emission standards in Europe in the next couple of years, as the mandate won't change between 2021 and 2024.

      A subsidy on the other hand -- much like an emission tax -- can't guarantee achieving a specific goal: but it does make sure there is an ongoing incentive for further improvements. In the next few years, incentives will thus become the major driver for further EV market share growth in Europe again.

      Aside from that, a direct subsidy also has an important psychological effect on private buyers (presumably less so on fleet buyers) that an emission mandate doesn't provide.

      I do agree that providing subsidies from the general budget is rather unfair (since it taxes people who don't use individual cars at all): it would be much better to pay for the subsidies by increasing taxes on polluting cars. Unfortunately, this doesn't fly politically in many places...

      I'm also very much in favour of taxation regimes that make larger cars less attractive. However, EV incentives are *not* the right tool for implementing this unrelated agenda. As the name implies, the point of EV incentives is to incentivise people to buy EVs instead of combustion cars -- no matter the size or price class.

  7. Tesla hat only Model3. If we compare all OEM electric vehicles only your last two sentences are relevant. And Tesla had nearly below 10% marketshare.

    1. ~18% BEV market share though, which is significant (PHEVs, while better than ICE-Vs, should be considered separate category from fully electric cars).

  8. CoconutshaverApril 16, 2021

    It surely maybe time to reduce incentives. But I would differentiate BEV and PHEV. In the case of the later, incentives must be completely eliminated. What we see for many months now is the ICE lobbyism working out. Earning lots of money with old and ecologically pretty useless technology in the name of green and sustainable mobility. It is a shame that CO2 figures for PHEV are still calculated in that false way though everyone more or less knows and it is proven that the für consumption and CO2 emission is about 3 times as high as the figures for registration are.

  9. Seems Tesla Model 3 ended up #9 in overall French sales. Wow, wonderful, this may not happen every month, but it may happen every quarter end. I wish they make Model 3 in Giga-Berlin as well. That is more affordable efficient for the middle class Europeans who want higher efficiency car. A Model 3 Wagon would make it more functional. Lets wait for the so called smaller car from Tesla.

    1. They *will* make Model 3 at Giga Berlin. It will be added after Model Y production.

      A Model 3 wagon would be great -- but I'm not sure Tesla will ever consider it worthwhile, in view of the (unfortunate) trend of substituting them with SUVs/crossovers :-(

  10. Most "Tesla is the king of the road" types of posts don't hold the water, but this is indeed an exceptional result.

    Last time that Tesla has managed to capture almost 20% of the French BEV market was in Q2 and Q3 2019. In fact, just a few months ago, in Q4 2020, their BEV market share in France was reduced to 4.16%!

    It will be interesting to see if this bad result in Q4 is responsible for a good one in Q1 or if Tesla will manage to keep such a big market share in France in Q2-Q4 2021. Very interesting times.

    As for other OEMs, Stellantis on place 1, Hyundai/Kia on place 5, and Volkswagen group on place 6 did relatively well, but 23.4% for Renault/Nissan group is by far he worst result since 2017! For their sake this should better be just a temporary glitch, otherwise Renault is in big trouble.

    1. Yep, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is headed has some difficult months ahead, as it won't have fresh metal to show in the near future, while the competition seems to be showing and introducing a new model every day.

    2. Well, they did just introduce the Twingo ZE; the Dacia Spring is coming soon AIUI; and so is Nissan Ariya... So while they didn't rush new models last year like the competition did, I wouldn't exactly say they have little to show in the near future.

    3. AnonymousMay 03, 2021

      Tesla is certainly the King of the EV road. It has #1 market share with only 2 vehicles, one of which isn't fully ramped and if you consider that their ASP is 2x it's competitor's, it is probably taking in >3x the revenue. You may say the ID.3 isn't fully ramped, but it appears that they have tapped out demand, given their drop in Q1 sales. Same will happen with ID.4. Apple takes 30% market share, but 66% profits. I think Tesla is on track be in a similar boat in a few years, allowing others to sell many units with minimal, if any margin.

  11. AnonymousMay 04, 2021

    January to April figures. e208 is top of the heap.
    Renault won't be crying too much about lost Zoe sales as they appear to be lost in good proportion to Twingo which is a very cheap car to make with a small battery and amortized costs. A CO2 credit for a Twingo is just as useful to them as a CO2 credit for a Zoe.