Chinese brands registrations in Germany: MG 1780, Great Wall 155, Nio 44

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On June 5, the German Federal Motor Authority published a Vehicle registration report for May. 246,966 passenger cars were registered in the most populated European country, +19.2% compared with the same month last year. All-electric vehicles (BEV) share was 17.3%, +46.6% from last year.

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The first place went to MG, a former British brand now under state-owned SAIC Motor. MG registered 1,780 cars in May, 117.6% up year-on-year and 53% up month-on-month. Year to date (January – May), MG sold 6,766 vehicles in Germany. The report doesn’t break down registrations into particular models. Still, looking at the neighboring Netherlands, we can tell the sales are driven mainly by electric MG 4 hatchbacks, MG 5 station wagons (or, as Germans say, kombi), and MG ZS EVs.

MG5 station wagon (kombi)

Second place goes to Polestar, with 629 sold units. Sales are driven mainly by Polestar 2 – liftback, which became Germany’s most popular company car in 2022. Polestar has a positive trend as their May sales are 15% up compared to April and 36.6% up compared to May last year. January – May, they sold 2,208 EVs in Germany.

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Third place goes to Lynk & Co, which is pretty successful with their subscription model – for 550 EUR/month, you get 01 PHEV SUV. They registered 237 units of 01, 22% up MoM, and 8.7% up YoY. January – May registrations are 1,546 units.

Lynk&Co 01

Fourth place goes to Great Wall Motor, which sold 155 units of their Funky Cat EV hatchback (Good Cat in China), up 53% MoM. Year-to-date sales are 432 units. BYD sold 54 cars, mainly Atto 3 (Yuan Plus in China), up 15% MoM, and Nio registered 44 EVs, up 76% MoM.

Geely’s Lotus sold 37 cars, and Shanghai-based EV startup Aiways registered only one car.

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For comparison, Tesla showed an increase of 1,696% in May, registering 5,265 EVs. The overall bestselling brands were German trio: VW (43,831 cars, +13% YoY), followed by Mercedes-Benz (27,911 cars, +55% YoY) and BMW (27,489 cars, +60% YoY).

Nio ET5 Touring (kombi) will launch globally on June 15.

Editor’s comment

It’s great to see MG finally having its breakthrough and increasing its sales in Germany. MG 4 has excellent reviews and a great price-quality ratio, so I guess this car is the backbone of the sales, and management is not worried about the upcoming months in Germany. Polestar is consistently and slowly increasing, which is good in the conservative market.

Lynk&Co is an example of how difficult the German market is – for example, in the much smaller Netherlands, Lynk&Co registered 681 cars in May, almost triple what Lynk&Co registered in Germany (237 units). But in Germany in May, nearly 250k passenger vehicles were registered vs. 33k in the Netherlands.

Nio registered 44 vehicles, slightly up MoM, showing off how hard the company is fighting against all odds. Germany is an ultra-conservative market in general, but when it comes to luxury cars, even the word ultra-conservative is not enough to describe what Nio is facing. Their strategy is to offer community (Nio Houses) and unique product differentiation (battery swap). As Nio says, their competition is BBA (Chinese term for Benz, BMW, Audi).

In China, their market positioning is already settled to be on the same level as BBA. In Germany? We will keep an eye on how successfully they will persuade the German owner of Mercedes-Benz to switch to a Chinese premium maker.

There is no drama in terms of cash and financing for the Shanghai-based EV maker, so they have relatively enough time to earn respect in Berlin.

Further reading:

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  1. You may wish to start reporting on sales of Chinese-made EVs here in Australia as well, if you have not already. Tesla Model Y is selling 3000+ per month at times, BYD Atto 3 (Yuan Plus) sold nearly 1500 in May with Tesla Model 3 not far behind and the MG4 Ora Good Cat and BYD Dolphin should all be on sale here in a matter on months.

  2. In Germany there is also sale of DFSK/Seres, but importer don’t publish numbers, as somekind of statistic number is missing.

  3. Nio, like other Chinese makers, need a local factory to really crack the European market. But given the trouble they had in Hefei’s F1 and F2, I kinda wonder how long will it actually take for a EU factory to begin churning out meaningful numbers, if there ever will be one.

    • Yes, automotive rule of thumb: Build where you sell. But you need some significant volume first, you don’t want factory working on 3% of capacity.

  4. Probably the biggest obstacle to high volume Chinese EV sales in Europe (and elsewhere) would be prices that are significantly higher than in China… Especially now that you know exactly the prices in China, and that main vocal point are on how low they are!

  5. you know what – I just bought a Smart #1 Brabus a few weeks ago. They sell it at a premium price as they are telling us it’s premium quality. It’s rather not – the seat started making squeeking noises after approx 500km – the Beetle I had before didn’t sound that bad with 200.000km on the odometer … and let’s not talk about the collosal failures of the software.
    For me, Smart is no longer a german brand, but just “another chinese” who bought a german name ( or two – BRABUS for the AWD)
    Besides that – Volvos EX30, sibling to the #1 doesnt even provide sound via USB any more.
    And all cars nowadays are fitted with multiple assistants (not working properly) which I don’t even want- I like driving myself. Otherwise I’d call a taxi.
    “German luxury” is high quality products. And you can’t mimic that with gadgets.
    If Nio or any other brand really want to tackle that sector, do it like the japanese did 50 years ago – perfect products at a cheaper price.
    I like Nio’s design, except for the bumps on the roof – it’s much nicer to look at, than BMWs approach to please chinese buyers which that huge and ugly grill.
    And honestly who needs swapping… not here in western europe, and that’s the market Nio wants to sell.


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