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Sweden March 2021: Upcoming bonus malus change triggers record market (+71.7%), Volvo at highest share in over 7 years

The Volvo S/V60 holds 8.8% of the Swedish market in March.

The Swedish new car market is up by a spectacular 71.7% year-on-year in March to 47.460 units, a new record for the month. Year-to-date sales are now up 37.4% to 90.870. Unlike the markets we’ve covered so far, the reason behind this month’s surge isn’t a low year-ago comparison base as March 2020 sales were down just -8.6% in the absence of Covid-19 lockdown. Instead, an upcoming bonus malus change on April 1 has led to a sales rush particularly from PHEVs (+212%) whereas EV sales are down -13% year-on-year. That’s easy to explain: from April 1 the bonus for PHEV decreases by an average of SEK 10.000, whereas the bonus for EVs increases from SEK 60.000 to SEK 70.000. The share of rechargeable cars in March stands at 37% vs. 28% in March 2020 and 35.6% so far this year.

Homegrown brand leader Volvo (+129.2%) takes full advantage on the peculiar market conditions to lift to 25% share, its highest since December 2013 (27.4%). In contrast Volkswagen (+24.4%) is weak at 9.8% share vs. 11.3% so far this year. Toyota (+106.9%) is the only remaining Top 8 brand to outpace the market, just as Audi (-8.8%), Skoda (+31.9%), Kia (+43.4%), BMW (+55.3%) and Mercedes (+55.6%) all underperform. Below, notice Mazda (+852.5%), Opel (+503.1%), Subaru (+426.5%), Fiat (+285.5%), Nissan (+265.6%), Citroen (+236.6%), Peugeot (+121.5%), Ford (+109.4%) and Seat (+99.9%) all sporting fantastic year-on-year gains in the remainder of the Top 20.

Model-wise, Volvo places 4 nameplates in the Top 4 and they are all outpacing the market: the S/V60 (+81.1%) is the runaway leader at 8.8% share vs. 8% so far this year, followed by the XC40 (+161.8%), XC60 (+246%) and S/V90 (+95.5%). The Toyota RAV4 (+700.5%) is up 8-fold on March 2020 thanks to the PHEV variant but remains at #5, one spot below its YTD ranking. The Kia Ceed (+212.8%), VW Tiguan (+99.7%) and Kia Niro (+84.6%) also advance faster than the market in the remainder of the Top 10.

Previous month: Sweden February 2021: Volvo, Toyota, Peugeot headline market up 5.3%

One year ago: Sweden March 2020: Kia, Tesla defy market down -8.6%

Full March 2021 Top 45 All-brands and Top 252 All-models below.

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