France Plugin EV Growth Slows, But Still Rocking

France saw plugin electric vehicles take 19.8% market share in June, up marginally from 18.7% YoY. Full electrics saw healthy growth whilst plugin hybrids fell. The overall auto market fell over 14% YoY, to 171,085 units. The Peugeot e-208 was the #1 best selling full electric in June, though Renault took 3 of the top 5 spots.

June’s overall plugin share of 19.8% comprised 12.8% full electrics (BEVs), and 7.0% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). A year ago, their respective shares were 10.5% and 8.3%.

Plugless hybrids continued to strongly grow share YoY (25.1% from 18.2%), whilst combustion-only powertrains all declined. Alternative-fuel vehicles (including ethanol, natural gas, and multi-fuel capable) declined from 3.3% to 0.5% YoY. The fact that this category peaked at around 5% over the past 5 months, and has now plummeted, suggests a pull-forward, prior to being cut loose from incentives in June.

As with Sweden and Norway, Tesla’s recent Shanghai shutdowns temporarily dented France’s BEV growth in June (as well as in Q2 as a whole). Where March saw 4,850 combined Model Y and Model 3 deliveries, June saw “only” 3,011. Without this Tesla shortfall, BEVs would have scored at least 13.7% and combined plugins, 20.6%. Volumes should return to trend by September, excepting further disruptions.

BEV Bestsellers

With the above noted Tesla shortfall, the Peugeot e-208 took the top spot in June, with 2,860 units. The Renault siblings, the Twingo and Zoe, took the 2nd and 3rd spots.

Renault also took position #5 with the new Megane, just behind the Tesla Model Y in 4th. It also took #7 with the subsidiary-branded Dacia Spring. A strong showing for Renault Group in the top 10.

Let’s now take a step back and look at the trailing 3 month picture:

Note that our data sources are still patchy for some models and some months, so there’s uncertainty for the 3-month total number of the Renault Megane, and the Mini Cooper SE. At the bottom of the table, the Mini could potentially have just pipped the Citroen e-C4 for 10th place.

Will BMW soon be making more Minis now that its older group-sibling (and donor platform), the BMW i3, has been retired?

Given the paucity of timely industry data, we can’t do a very comprehensive analysis of the changes since the January-to-March quarter. However, what we can say is:

  • Peugeot e-208 grew >50% volume, upped from 3rd to 1st
  • Fiat 500e grew ~80% volume, upped from 5th to 2nd
  • Twingo grew 45% volume, upped from 6th to 3rd
  • Megane (new) climbed from nowhere to 6th

On the flip side, some got pushed down, even if only temporarily:

  • Model 3 lost almost 80% volume, fell from 1st to 12th
  • Dacia Spring lost ~15% volume, fell from 2nd to 5th

Most others in the top 10 saw more modest changes. Obviously the Tesla change is likely to only be temporary, due to the recent Shanghai lockdowns already noted. Expect the Model 3 to be at or near the front, in the next end-of-quarter results, as has been the long term norm.

We can’t yet compare the up-to-date manufacturing group results in France due to the thin data. Keep an eye out for Jose’s reports in the coming weeks, and check out his May French report for a recent picture.

Outlook

It’s good to see the new Renault Megane quickly off to a strong start in its home market of France. It’s a very compelling package, good value (especially on leasing), and right-sized for the European market. The challenge will be whether Renault can build enough of them to keep up with demand.

France’s plugin growth has slowed a bit from the heady months of 2020-2021, but is still on track to reach beyond 25% in September and beyond 30% in December.

What are you thoughts on the French auto market? Please jump in to the conversation below.


 


 

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