German electric plug-ins resume growth, Tesla Model Y leads
Europe’s biggest car market, Germany, saw plug-in electric vehicles take a 28.5% market share in August 2022, their best result since the start of the year, although slightly up compared to 27.6% in August 2021. Overall auto volumes were 199,183 units, slightly up year-on-year, but down dramatically by around 37% from the 2018-2019 seasonal average of 315,000 units. The Tesla Model Y was the best-selling plugin of the month, thanks in large part to local production.
August’s combined plug-in share of 28.5% included 16.1% full battery electric (BEV) and 12.4% plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This compares to shares of 14.9% and 12.7%, respectively, year-over-year.
In sales volume In other words, BEVs increased by 10.9% year-on-year to 32,006 units, and PHEVs by only 1% to 24,719 units.
Most of the modest plug-in share gains came from a decline in plug-free hybrids (HEVs), whose share fell from 18.7% to 17.6% year-on-year. Combustion-only powertrains were essentially flat year-over-year, losing just 0.1% in combined share to 53.1%.
Best-selling BEVs in Germany
The Tesla factory in Grünheide is said to produce between 1,200 and 1,500 Model Y vehicles per week (i.e. at least 5,000 per month) from mid-August, the volume of deliveries to Germany (and the rest of Europe) is now starting to see a significant increase. This helped the Model Y record a record 4,216 units in August (up from the previous monthly high of 2,529 units).
The Model Y saw more than 2.6 times the volume of the 2nd and 3rd BEVs, the VW ID.4/5 and the Fiat 500e.
Will this kind of volume of Model Y registrations now become the new norm in Germany? It seems likely, although Grünheide’s production will also supply other European LHD markets, currently in larger quantities; France, Norway and Sweden.
Each of these countries has already shown that they can absorb at least 1,000 Model Ys per month (and the upper limit has yet to be tested). Tesla also has the option in the future to tweak pricing/variant offerings a bit, to drive demand even further if needed.
Lower in the top 20, the Seat Cupra Born continued to shine, with a record volume of 1,257 units, and climbing to 8th place. The Dacia Spring saw its highest volumes since December, rising to 5th place (1,447 units).
In terms of new faces, well outside the top 20, but one to watch, the new Volkswagen ID.Buzz continues to rise slowly, still at low levels, to 144 units in August (compared to 34 in July). The MG5 delivered 398 units in August (against a previous record of 99) and climbed to 28th place.
Now let’s step back for a broader overview covering the past 3 months:
With its excellent August result, the Tesla Model Y is at the top of the ranking for the last 3 months, ahead of the Fiat 500e and the Volkswagen ID.4/5. This is a good recovery from Tesla, which – then faced with temporary headwinds in supply from Shanghai – only managed to rank 11th from March to May.
The other important climbers for three months are:
Other BEV models lost their ranking in the following 3 months:
Many of these lower positions are due to temporary allocation decisions of limited factory production, rather than a significant drying up of demand.
Finally, let’s take a look at the automotive manufacturing group’s rankings over the past three months:
The Volkswagen group still leads comfortably, ahead of Stellantis, still 2nd. Both have increased their volume by around 30% from March to May.
Rising from 6th to 3rd place, the Renault-Nissan Group recorded more modest volume growth of 14%. Tesla moved up one spot from 5th to 4th place, but with only 4% volume growth.
Losing places were Hyundai Motor Group (3rd to 5th), losing 10% volume, and Mercedes Group (4th to 7th), losing significant volume by 43%. BMW took advantage of this, climbing from 7th to 6th place, despite volume down 3.4% compared to 3 months ago.
With the rise of Grünheide, Tesla has a chance to take 3rd place, possibly by the end of this year. But don’t count on it – the continued rise of the Renault Megane and, soon, the Nissan Ariya, could make that difficult.
Tesla won’t be challenging the top two spots anytime soon (given their lead and both are also growing strongly), but – overall – continues to put pressure on legacy auto groups to continue. to evolve.
The German automotive industry, which sits at the crossroads of the German (and European) industrial economy, is facing major headwinds.
As an instructive example, the European association of metal producers, Eurométaux, has just sent an open letter to EU political leaders, calling for urgent action on the energy crisis — “to prevent permanent deindustrialization from leading to soaring electricity and gas prices.”
Here are some excerpts from the letter:
“50% of aluminum and zinc capacity in the EU has already been taken out of service due to the electricity crisis, as well as significant reductions [in other metals]…
“Over the past month, several businesses have had to announce indefinite closures and many more are on the brink of a life-and-death winter for many operations. Producers are facing electricity and gas costs more than ten times higher than last year, far exceeding the selling price of their products. We know from experience that once a factory is closed it very often becomes a permanent situation, as reopening involves significant uncertainty and costs.
“Europe clean energy goals require a competitive and growing metals sector to ensure a secure supply of the additional raw materials needed to shift away from fossil fuels. base metals, battery metalsand other metals are all needed in higher volumes for Europe’s grid infrastructure, electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbinesand hydrogen electrolysers, as well as a complex web of other essential value chains across the European economy.
The association calls on the EU to adopt a range of emergency measures, and “to avoid introducing new policy measures that could increase the industry’s production costs. Legal uncertainty and policy predictability are vital for the business environment, as Europe’s economic development and avoidable policy-induced cost increases need to be reconsidered in the light of inflation and recession anticipated.
This is just one industrial area vital to the European automotive industry and other heavy industries – glass, chemicals (including paints) and many more. Clearly, the auto industry depends on the health of all these upstream supplier industries (as well as its own access to competitive energy prices). The automotive industry also needs consumers who have stable economic prospects and who are able to spend on new cars.
Right now, there seems to be a lag in getting the message from suppliers to automakers. The latest survey from the IFO Institute finds that “the general darkening of the mood in the economy is also reflected in the automotive sector, with suppliers much more pessimistic than manufacturers….”
Meanwhile, there is a growing gap between the foreign policy priorities of some European politicians, for example Boris Johnson, and the policies that large parts of the European public want to see.
Results at the end of August of the regular opinion poll “RTL/ntv trend barometer” in Germany, led by one of the oldest and largest media groups in the country, finds that:
“[A] The vast majority, 87% of Germans – all electoral groups combined – find it correct that Western heads of government speak to Putin. Only 11% think it’s wrong.
“A large majority of 77% also believe that the West should make concrete efforts at this stage to engage in negotiations to end the war. 17% think the West shouldn’t do this right now. (automatic translation, see original)
Meanwhile, on August 24, the recent British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, visited Kyiv and continued to advise Ukrainian politicians “now is not the time to advance a flimsy negotiation plan.”
This political position – also taken by Johnston’s successor, Truss, as well as many other European leaders – is obviously the opposite of what the vast majority of Germans want (demonstrated in the survey above), going to against democratic principles.
However, the good news for European democracy is that, despite the position of politicians from a small island nation off the coast of Europe, German Chancellor Sholtz and French President Macron are always pursuing the dialogue with Moscow, despite opposition from people like Johnson.
It remains to be seen whether these communication efforts will lead to a cooling of the conflict and a change in the sanctions policy that could alleviate Europe’s current energy problems, but I think it is unlikely for the moment at least. .
We will have to see what energy sources for households and industry European politicians are able to conjure up, which could allow German industrial sectors to weather the winter and avoid further inflation and recession.
The outlook for the German auto industry, both on the supply side and on the consumer sentiment side, is obviously surrounded by great uncertainty at the moment. What do you think of their prospects? Please jump to the comments below to share your views.
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