Germany, Europe’s largest car market, saw plug-in electric vehicles take a 25.5% share in July. This is 22.6% more than the year. Total auto market volume fell nearly 34% from seasonal norms to 205,911 units, the worst July reading in years. The Fiat 500e was once again the best-selling all-electric vehicle in Germany for the month.
July’s combined plug-in result of 25.5% consists of 14.0% all-electric (BEV) and 11.5% plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This compares to a share of 10.8% and 12.8% respectively in July 2021.
In terms of volume, BEVs grew 13% year-over-year to 28,815 units, while PHEVs fell 21% to 23,712 units. Thus, the volume of integrated plugins decreased by 5.5% annually.
This was a modest volume compared to the overall market, down 13% from July 2021 and 34% below seasonal norms (pre-covid of around 312,000 units).
Germany’s leading BEVs
In a Tesla low logistics month (despite the Brandenburg factory starting to record decent volumes), the Fiat 500 took pole position again in July with 2,170 units.
The Volkswagen brand had a strong month, taking the 2nd, 4th and 5th places.
Notable new faces in the model line-up include the Volkswagen ID.5, Seat Cupra Born and Renault Megane. VW ID.Buzz is still very early, only 34 units in July.
Current models moving up the ranks in July include the Opel Corsa, VW ID.3 and VW Up!, Dacia Spring, Opel Mokka and Audi Q4 e-tron. In most cases, their height was not due to an absolute increase in their volume compared to June, but rather to 2008. low performance of other BEVs that took a break after the end of Q2.
For Tesla – we have to assume that a decent portion of Germany’s July deliveries of 1,035 Tesla Model Ys came from the Brandenburg factory. We know that not all Brandenburg products are aimed at the German market – some are sold in Norway and elsewhere. But maybe half of those registered in Germany in July were domestically produced? Share your thoughts about it below.
To look beyond the ups and downs of monthly results, let’s look at the last 3 months:
Compared to the previous period (February to April), the small Fiat 500 moved up from the second place, taking the place of the Tesla Model 3. That’s a great result for a pint-sized super mini. a decent sized car for many Europeans.
A significant change in position is also due to the recent introduction of the Volkswagen ID.5 (“SUV coupe”) variant of Volkswagen’s MEB electric platform over the past 3 months. Essentially a fastback version of the VW ID.4, the newcomer helped the combined ID.4/ID.5 climb from 8th place previously to 2nd place in the latest chart (KBA counts them as one).
The Opel Corsa (another small hatchback) also has a good volume increase (2.3 times increase), effectively moving up from 14th place to 3rd place.
The most notable developments of the most recent quarter compared to the previous period are:
Tesla’s Model 3 saw its biggest drop in 3 months, falling from its usual top (or near top) position to 26th place (and out of the top 20 chart). Recall that the Model 3 was the best-selling BEV in Germany in 2021. and by the first quarter of 2022.
This is likely a temporary setback due to the shutdown of Shanghai production in the first half of the year, and the Model 3 should return to the top line in late September or October. The Model Y also took a hit within three months, but was more modest.
One thing to watch out for is which brother has the higher voice for the rest of the year. Perhaps the Brandenburg factory exclusively produces the Model Y, making it an unfair comparison.
A summary of the significant downgrades is as follows:
The usual disclaimer: cyclical volume changes sometimes reflect temporary regional allocation decisions or production line assembly rather than significant demand changes. However, Germany is by far the region’s biggest BEV market, so if the model common in Europe underperforms here (especially for more than 3 months), it could be significant.
Another way to step back and look at larger trends is through the performance of the production team:
Compared to the February-April period, the Volkswagen Group maintained its top position in BEVs with an impressive volume increase of 65%. Stellantis rose one place to 2nd (54% increase) and Renault-Nissan rose 4 places to 3rd place (37% increase).
Hyundai Motor Group remained in 4th place. BMW rose from 6th to 5th place (despite a 17% drop in volume), swapping places with Mercedes Group (down 28% in volume).
Tesla dropped 70% from 2nd place to 7th place. Again, this was mainly due to production disruptions in Shanghai in H1 and should only be a temporary setback.
There are too many macro uncertainties to have a clear picture of what will happen in the German auto industry and consumer market in the coming months. The price of natural gas – the basis for Germany’s overall industry and competitiveness – has risen almost 7 times in the European benchmark index.
Uniper, Germany’s biggest gas importer, is now facing bankruptcy and faces potential losses of 10 billion euros this year, and has asked the government for an emergency bailout.
Economy Minister Habeck said on July 28 that Germany was facing “the biggest energy crisis ever”.
Habeck himself recently admitted that the much-hyped “deal” with Qatar in March to import LNG to replace Russian pipeline gas has not really come to fruition. Habeck now says thatThe Qataris decided not to make a good offer“, making a mockery of his previous promises. According to the left-liberal newspaper Stern, he recently faced accusations of misleading the audience and warmongering during talks in Bavaria.
A long-running ZEW survey of economic sentiment among industry and investors fell to its lowest level since 2008.
Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest lender, released a report warning that unless the energy supply crisis is resolved, the rate will have a strong impact on industry and cause the national economy to shrink by 2.7% in 2022. We’ve already seen Q1 2022 total consumer retail sales fall by the largest amount in three decades, down 8.8% in real terms.
As the German automotive industry is a central part of European industry, my monthly report will definitely follow these economic developments in the coming months. We just saw that July’s total auto sales were about 34% below seasonal norms. Even combined plug-in volume is down 5.5% year-over-year.
With conventional highway fuel prices at record highs, those with deep pockets who can still afford new cars will likely continue to favor plug-ins, so the plug-in share of new car sales should continue to grow. But given the industry headwinds above, one has to wonder about the economic health of the automakers that supply these vehicles. A few relatively wealthy new car buyers who want plug-ins won’t be able to sustain the entire German car industry (nor the wider economy) and millions of jobs.
What are your thoughts on the German auto industry in the coming months? Please join the discussion in the comments section below.
Do you value CleanTechnica’s originality and clean tech news? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Tech or Ambassador, or a Patron on Patreon.
Don’t want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica via email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip about CleanTechnica, want to advertise or suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.