The Volkswagen Group disclosed its electric car statistics for the third quarter. They show that sales of battery-electric vehicles are increasing by 45% for the first nine months of 2023 but also that the manufacturer’s increase is slower than expected. Furthermore, there’s a noticeable difference between the performances of the distinctive brands inside the group.
Some alarm bells have been going off lately: VW planned to cut hundreds of jobs at its electric car factory in Zwickau due to the market situation, and the assembly of the Q4 e-tron at Audi Brussels has been postponed.
There are concerns about the market position of Germany’s largest carmaker. The figures now presented on global electric car sales show progress, but this must be viewed differently.
Volkswagen Group increased its deliveries of electric cars by 45% to 531 500 BEVs worldwide in the first nine months of 2023. The BEV share of total deliveries rose to 7,9% between January and September, up from 6,1% in the same period last year. In the third quarter, the BEV share climbed to 9,0%, compared to 6,8% a year ago.
Volkswagen’s statistics also differentiate territorially: 64% of the group’s BEV deliveries were in Europe, followed by China with 22%, the US with 10%, and 4% in other markets.
The Wolfsburg-based company explains that Europe remains the main driver of its electrification strategy, with an increase of 61% to 341 100 BEVs in the first nine months of the year.
The manufacturer recorded a 74 % increase for the US but from low absolute numbers (from 28 900 to 50 300 BEVs). For China, plus 4% is worrying the people in Wolfsburg quite a bit (from 112 700 to 117 100 BEVs).
Differences by brand
If we focus on the performance of the various Group brands, the following picture emerges: the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 273 000 fully electric vehicles by the end of September, just over half of all the Group’s BEVs.
It is followed by Audi, with 123 000 vehicles (Group share is 23%), Skoda with 54 400 cars (10%, Seat/Cupra with 32 300 vehicles (6%), Porsche with 27 900 vehicles (5%) and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles with 19 600 vehicles (4%).
The sales growth of the brands is developing quite differently. Seat/Cupra, Audi, and VW Commercial Vehicles have grown more strongly, with a 45% average growth in the first nine months of the year. VW Passenger Cars and Porsche, on the other hand, performed below average. Skoda is almost precisely on average, with a 47,6% increase.
Looking at the third quarter separately, we see 40% more BEVs sold across the group. Porsche, Skoda, and Audi show improved figures, Seat/Cupra loses a little, and VW Passenger Cars is only at 18,7% sales growth. The increase in VW Commercial Vehicles is directly related to the introduction of the ID.Buzz (with an almost 1 000% increase in EV deliveries).
ID.4 and ID.5 most popular
The press release of VW Group also highlighted the most successful BEV models in the first nine months of 2023. These were the Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5 (162 100 units sold), the Volkswagen ID.3 (90 500), the Audi Q4 e-tron (incl. Sportback, 77 900), the Skoda Enyaq iV (incl. Coupé, 54 400), the Cupra Born (32 300), and the Audi Q8 e-tron (incl. Sportback, 21 800). There are no figures for other models.
For the third quarter alone, the proportions are in the same league. The VW ID.4/ID.5 sold 60 900 units, the ID.3 40 700, the Audi Q4 e-tron (incl. Sportback) 29 900, its sister model, the Skoda Enyaq (incl. Coupé) 23 100, and the Audi Q8 e-tron (incl. Sportback) 2 300. There were no statistics for other models like the Cupra Born or the Porsche Taycan.
Hildegard Wortmann, Member of the Extended Executive Board for Sales, commented on the sales results: “We showed a good overall performance in our all-electric deliveries with a global increase of 45% in the first nine months. Despite the current reluctance in the European market to buy battery-powered vehicles, we gained market share and remained the market leader in this segment. However, our order intake is below our ambitious targets due to the lower-than-expected overall market trend.”