Stellantis Shines in Europe – Plug-in Vehicle Sales Report
While the overall European automotive market is still suffering, down 13% last month year-on-year (YoY) and down 34% from May 2019, the European plug-in vehicle market for passengers also began to be affected. It was up just 3% last month, with around 183,000 plug-in vehicles registered in May. On closer inspection, hybrid plugins (-12% year-on-year) are responsible for plugins falling into the red. Plug-in hybrids (aka PHEV) recorded their third consecutive month of declining sales in May. Are we witnessing a peak in PHEV in Europe?
At the same time, BEVs increased by 20% in May. That’s down from the yearly average (+42%), but much better than anything around it.
Last month, the share of plug-in vehicles in the overall European automotive market was 19% (11% of fully electric vehicles/BEVs), which brings down the share of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) from 2022 by one point, to 20% (11% for BEVs alone).
Highlights last month were the Fiat 500e taking another bestseller title, 1,800 units ahead of the surprise runner-up Ford Kuga PHEV, while the Volkswagen ID.4 took third place on the podium.
Taking a closer look at May’s top 5 plugins:
#1Fiat 500e — The little Italian won his second monthly bestseller title, with a record close 6,454 deliveries in May. With wrinkles appearing on the competition (VW e-Up, Smart Fortwo EV, Renault Twingo EV) and the Dacia Spring appealing to a more cost-conscious clientele, the little Fiat EV is benefiting from a lack of serious competition, at least until to the wave of Chinese urban electric vehicles is reaching European shores. This makes it the default EV choice in the cheap (rather) and chic city class. With the Mini Cooper EV being a more premium proposition, the Smart moving upmarket in the next generation of urban EVs to battle MINI, and the fossil-powered Fiat 500 ending its career next year, expect the Fiat EV remains the benchmark to beat in the category. Last month, the top markets were the usual – Germany (1,834 units) and France (2,129 units), with the UK (600) and its native Italy (749) also making a significant contribution to the tally.
#2 Ford Kuga PHEV – The euro-spec version of the Ford Escape PHEV became one of the few exceptions to the PHEV spinoff, with the Spanish-made plug-in hybrid model rising to second place in May thanks to 4,668 registrations. (The second best-selling plug-in hybrid, the BMW 330e, only appears in #16, some 800 units behind.) The reason for the success of this somewhat unremarkable crossover? I think market affordability (price plus fleet offers) could have a lot to do with it. Regarding May performance across the continent, the Ford model achieved its best score in Germany (1,948 units), followed by
Denmark Sweden, where it recorded 717 deliveries, well ahead of the 274 registrations in neighboring Denmark, a market known for its love of the compact crossover.
#3 Volkswagen ID.4 — The German crossover was 3rd in May, with 4,652 registrations, beating expectations (and the rest of the Volkswagen Group models) and hinting that the worst of its production constraints are over. He is surely preparing for a stronger second half. While production constraints are still being felt (shortage of chips, Ukrainian supplier break, battery supply constraints…) and having to share production with a wider range of MEB-based models (the recent launch of the Volkswagen ID.5 is an example), don’t expect gold medals in the short term, but consistent appearances in this top 5 should be a given. Regarding May’s performance, Volkswagen’s star crossover achieved its best score in Germany (1,665 units) and is also a success story in Norway (915 units) and neighboring Sweden (658). The UK (500) also proved to be an important market.
#4Peugeot e-208 — Probably thanks to increased battery availability, the French EV is increasing its power. He got a records 4,619 registrations in May and won the subcompact/B-segment category by a wide margin. The elegant sedan ended the month with a 1,000-unit advantage over the No. 7 Opel Corsa-e (another Stellantis model) and the Renault Zoe n° 8. Will the Peugeot model steal the show from its great rival Renault Zoe and become the 2022 bestseller in the B segment? Looking at last month’s performance, the main market for the e-208 was its native France (1,668 registrations), followed by Germany (758 registrations), the Netherlands (507) and the UK (500) .
#5 Spring Dacia — The small Sino-Romanian crossover reappeared in the top 5 last month, with 3,857 registrations. It looks like the model is cruising at around 3,500 units/month, not enough to be the disruptor some hope it would be, but still a significant volume nonetheless. Back to the May deliveries, the plain-Jane EV achieved its best score in France (1,357 registrations), followed by Germany (1,326 units) and its home market — 426 registrations in Romania. In addition, suitable for city cars Italy saw 270 deliveries.
Looking at the rest of the May chart, the big highlight was that all four record performances belonged to Stellantis models. Along with the aforementioned Peugeot e-208, the #7 Opel Corsa-e recorded a record 3,603 registrations, helping the conglomerate to a #1 plus #2 victory in this category. In the above segment, the #17 Jeep Compass PHEV recorded a record 2,915 registrations, while the Citroën e-C4 EV celebrated its first place in the top 20 with a record 2,621 registrations. Add to that the near-record score of the #1 Fiat 500e and the #19 presence of the Peugeot 3008 PHEV, and we have 6 Stellantis models in the top 20 from 5 different brands – four of which broke performance records. It can therefore only be considered a positive month for the conglomerate. This brings us back to the basic formula of this industry: more batteries available = more sales.
Elsewhere, the Audi e-tron scored another top 20 presence, while the Mini Cooper EV was No. 12, with 3,035 registrations.
Below the top 20, the great novelty is the rise of several models, like the 2,392 registrations of the super sporty Cupra Born. The Cupra Born benefits from the relaxation of production constraints at Volkswagen factories. There are also the 2,062 BMW i4 registrations, the first decent month for the new BMW fastback. Meanwhile, the all-important Mercedes EQE (1,065 registrations) continues to ramp up, looking to reach Audi’s e-tron (2,892) level of deliveries soon.
Finally, we saw the first month of volume from the highly anticipated Renault Megane EV (775 units) and Volkswagen ID.5 (952).
Looking at the 2022 ranking, the top positions remained the same. The two mainstream Teslas held steady in the leading positions, a feat in itself given the dearth of Model 3 deliveries (355 units) and the slow ramp-up of Giga Berlin, with just 1,118 Model deliveries Y in May.
The Fiat 500e has taken a valuable advantage in the race for best sellers not Tesla. The VW ID.4 will have a hard time getting the little Italian out of the bronze medal position!
The first position change occurred at No. 7, with the Peugeot e-208 EV jumping three positions, to No. 7, and overtaking the Renault Zoe and Hyundai Kona EV, its main rivals. This has enabled the Peugeot EV to become the new leader in the B-segment/subcompact category, which means that Stellantis is now leading both in the A-segment/city car (Fiat 500e) and in the B-segment/subcompact. (Peugeot e-208EV). Not bad huh ?
Elsewhere, the Skoda Enyaq continues to climb the rankings, now 10th, while the Dacia Spring jumps to 11th place.
Also worthy of reference, the BMW 330e climbs to #15 amid declining PHEV sales, while the Mini Cooper EV returns to the chart at #19.
In the ranking of car manufacturerswith Tesla (6.9%, down 8.4%) suffering from production constraints and Mercedes (8.6%, down 8.9%) suffering from lower PHEV sales, BMW (9, 4%, up slightly from 9.3%) consolidated its leading position .
In 4th we have Kia (6.4%), which is followed by a resurgent Volkswagen, now in 5th with 6.1% market share, down from 5.8%.
With Peugeot and Audi at 5.9% each, and Volvo at 5.8%, the race for 6th position will be quite interesting. It is a very balanced electric vehicle market, as evidenced by the fact that the leader BMW has less than 10% market share.
Organize things by automotive group, the Volkswagen group is in first place with 18.1% market share, compared to 17.4%. It seems that the heatwave period is over for the German conglomerate.
Stellantis is in second place and is also up (now at 16.1%, down from 15.3%). The runner-up conglomerate is gaining ground on the competition and one wonders how high it can go. Will he be able to endanger the position of No. 1 of the Volkswagen group?
Current bronze medalist Hyundai-Kia (11.7%, down from 11.8%) has lost ground to No. 4 BMW Group (11.5%, down from 11.3%), but still has a slight advance. In 5th, we have the Mercedes-Benz group (9.8%, against 10.1%). It is well ahead of the Renault-Nissan Alliance No. 6 (8.4%).
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