The Kia Optima breaks into the Swedish Top 5 for the first time.
As expected after an artificial 107.8% surge in December in anticipation of new EU CO2 emissions rules and a new local tax system penalising polluting vehicles, the Swedish new car market is completely depleted in January at -17.9% to 16.798 registrations. A logical consequence, sales of EVs and PHEVs – a category called rechargeable in Sweden – surge 87.6% to 5.021 units and 30.8% share which is a new all-time record, the previous rechargeable share best was 18.7% in July 2018, just after the implementation of preferential pricing for green vehicles. The VW Group and Kia are the big winners this month. Volkswagen (+6%) spectacular steals the Swedish brands pole position away from Volvo (-31.4%) to lodge its first ever January win and 6th monthly win in the past 5 years alongside August 2015, August 2016, July 2018, August 2018 and August 2019. Indeed if August is traditionally a month when Volkswagen is the #1 brand due to Volvo’s factory closures, the German carmaker had only managed to top the charts outside this month once before: in July 2018.
Kia (+24.7%) is the other hero atop the Swedish charts, back to the third spot it held over FY2018 and FY2019. Audi (+26.4%), Seat (+24.5%), breaking into the Top 10 for the 4th time in the past 7 months, and Porsche (+41.6%) complete a fantastic picture for the VW Group (+4.6%), holding a 32.6% market share vs. 25.6% a year ago in January 2019. Mercedes (-4.3%) and Toyota (-8.5%) limit their fall while further down, Opel (+1527.3%), Tesla (+345.9%), Fiat (+50.4%) and Hyundai (+5.8%) shine, but imploding brands are much more frequent, such as Mazda (-97.7%), Jeep (-82%), Jaguar (-79.8%), Nissan (-78.4%), Subaru (-77.3%), Citroen (-68.6%), Dacia (-62.6%), Alfa Romeo (-62.3%), Suzuki (-59.1%), Honda (-56.2%), Ford (-71.1%), Peugeot (-39.8%) and Renault (-35.8%). Polestar makes its very first appearance at home with one unit of the “1”.
Model-wise, the Volvo S/V60 (-14.3%) confirms it is the favourite of Swedish car buyers but sees its advantage over the #2, the VW Passat (+129.2%), whittle down to a perilous 71 units. 66.5% of all Passat sales in January are the PHEV variant which leads the rechargeable models charts. The Kia Niro (+20.8%) climbs onto the podium for the second time ever after July 2018, followed by the Volvo S/V90 (-42.4%) while the Kia Optima (+244.7%) cracks the Top 5 for the first time (previous best: #8 in July 2018) as 100% of its sales are PHEV, #2 in the rechargeable charts. All other Top 10 nameplates are in negative, with the Mitsubishi Outlander (-8.9%) and Volvo XC40 (-7.2%) containing their fall to the single-digits and the Toyota Corolla topping new launches at #10 above the Audi e-Tron (#40), Skoda Scala (#48), Opel Crossland X (#69), Tesla Model 3 (#70) and Opel Grandland X (#71).
Full January 2020 Top 40 All-brands, Top 215 All-models and Top 20 rechargeable models below.