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Norway May 2020: MG ZS breaks into Top 10, market no longer Europe’s darling (-39%)

The MG ZS EV is among the 10 best-selling cars in Norway in May. Picture

In April, Noway boasted the smallest year-on-year drop of any European (-34%). Despite a COVID-19 pandemic essentially under control with 8.488 total cases at the time of writing vs. 7.710 as of April 30, this is not true anymore in May with Norwegian sales actually faring worse (as is also the case in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands) with a -39% year-on-year drop to 7.998 units. The year-to-date tally is now down -24% to 47.781. Private sales account for 49.7% of the Norwegian market in May vs. 58.1% in May 2019 with fleet sales up from 41.9% to 50.3% over the period. Note fleet sales include private leases in Norway.

Through these tumultuous times, Norway continues to champion eco-friendly sales globally. Petrol sales sink -61.5% year-on-year to just 904 and 11.3% share vs. 17.9% a year ago while diesel volumes are off -61.2% to 936 and 11.6% vs. 18.4%. This means 77.1% of all new passenger cars sold in Norway in May are electrified to some extent, to be compared with 64.4% a year ago in May 2019. Although impressive and world-best, this share is actually down on January (78.5%), February (79.2%), March (82.2%) and April (77.5%). In the detail, these include 3.444 BEV (-29.9%) at 43.1% share vs. 35.5% in May 2019, 1.805 PHEV (+24.9%) at 22.6% share vs. 11% and 916 HEV (-61%) at 11.4% share vs. 17.9%. So far in 2020, electrified passenger car sales are down just -11.1% year-on-year to 37.701 units and 78.9% share vs. 67.5% over the same period a year ago. This includes 23.462 BEV (-15.5%) at 49.1% share vs. 44.2% in 2019, 9.253 PHEV (+29.8%) at 19.4% share vs. 11.3% and 4.986 HEV (-33.6%) at 10.4% share vs. 11.9%.

The new e-208 boosts the nameplate up 823.8% year-on-year. Picture

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (-27.6%) improves to 15.3% share while Toyota (-59.6%) climbs back up to #2, knocking Audi (-14.1%) down to #3. Hyundai (+6%) is actually up year-on-year and advances to #4 but not as spectacularly as Mercedes (+114.6%) more than doubling its sales year-on-year again to rank #5 with 6.4% share. Peugeot (-2.7%) and Nissan (-11.3%) also minimise their loss in the remainder of the Top 10, but Volvo (-50.3%) and Skoda (-44.6%) are still hurting. Newcomer MG posts its best performance yet at #14 with 2.3% share. DS (+400%), Porsche (+225%) and Subaru (+52.8%) also impress.

The VW Golf returns to the brands top spot for the first time since last November but remains #2 year-to-date over 2.000 units below the Audi e-Tron (+9.2%) which ends four consecutive months at #1 and drops to #2 in May. The Hyundai Kona (+90.2%) is lifted onto the podium by its new EV variant, while the Nissan Leaf (+4.6%) and Skoda Octavia (-27%) round out the Top 10. While the Peugeot 208 (+823.8%) is now taking full advantage of its new EV version and the VW Passat (+87.5%) almost doubles its sales year-on-year, the biggest news are at #10 with the MG ZS EV cracking the Norwegian Top 10 for the first time (previous best: #21 in March) and for only its 6th month in market. This should motivate fellow Chinese carmaker BYD even more to launch a couple of its EV SUVs in Norway, a move they are already planning.

Previous month: Norway April 2020: Mercedes (+140%), Audi (+69.3%), Porsche (+262.8%) defy smallest market drop in Europe (-34%)

One year ago: Norway May 2019: Toyota RAV4 (+134.7%) up to #2, Audi e-Tron #4 in market edging up 0.5%

Full May 2020 Top 40 All-brands and Top 200 All-models below.

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