- The nation’s favourites
- Best-selling car in Switzerland 2021: The Model 3 from Tesla.
- New leader
- The former number one ends up in second place in 2021: Skoda Octavia.
- Third place goes to the Audi Q3.
- Popular intermediate step
The nation’s favourites
In 2021, Swiss car buyers had a new favourite. With the Model 3 from Tesla, an electric car was at the top for the first time.
Best-selling car in Switzerland 2021: The Model 3 from Tesla.
The car market is recovering from the serious effects of the Corona outbreak.
However, only very slowly. In 2019, 311,466 new passenger cars were registered in Switzerland; in the first corona year 2020, new registrations dropped to 236,827. And things didn’t look much better in 2021 either: 238,481 new PWs were registered, just 0.7% more than in the previous year. However, this is not due to reluctant customers, but mainly to delivery problems at the car manufacturers. These lack semiconductors. At the beginning of the pandemic, many manufacturers adjusted their purchase agreements with chip manufacturers because it was assumed that production would drastically collapse. The quotas were given to other buyers and are now missing in the car industry. In addition, the chips have become a rare commodity anyway due to various production failures. And: no car rolls off the assembly line without computer chips. Every vehicle, whether small car or luxury car, needs dozens to control the drive, navigation, on-board computer, assistance systems, etc. So cars suddenly became a scarce commodity. “We are not used to the fact that the demand for new vehicles is significantly higher than the supply,” says Christoph Wolnik, spokesman for Auto Schweiz, the association of car importers. An improvement is not expected until the second half of 2022. Until then, customers will have to reckon with long delivery times – and manufacturers often prefer more expensive models with higher returns and cars with electric drives when making deliveries, as this allows the CO2 emissions of the fleet sold to be kept within limits. “Since the beginning of the chip crisis, vehicle manufacturers and importers have consistently given preference to models with electric drives in production and delivery. This strategy has paid off in the past few months and is now also reflected in the annual key figures,” explains Christoph Wolnik. The statistics show that the market shares of cars with alternative drives, i.e. mainly fully or partially electric, have increased significantly.
The former number one ends up in second place in 2021: Skoda Octavia.
It is therefore not entirely surprising that in 2021 an electric car will be at the top of the registration statistics for the first time. Much more surprising is that no car from the VW group is at the top.
In 2017, the Skoda Octavia replaced the VW Golf after more than 40 years at the top. And now the Czech from the VW Group is being pushed off the throne: With 5074 units, the Model 3 from Tesla sold exactly 100 times more than the Skoda Octavia. The newly launched Audi Q3 came in third with 3960 registrations.
This makes the Model 3 not only the most popular car in Switzerland – but of course also the most popular electric car. Their market share increased from 8.2% in the previous year to 13.1%. The electric mid-range from California is followed at a considerable distance by the ID.3 from VW, which has been registered 2,419 times. Third place among the Stromers is taken by the Skoda Enyaq, which is based on the same technology kit from the VW Group.
Third place goes to the Audi Q3.
Popular intermediate step
Vehicles with plug-in hybrids also increased significantly in 2021. Depending on the model, they cover 30 to 100 kilometers purely electrically, but also have a combustion engine for longer journeys. Of course, this only makes sense if you mainly drive short distances and can charge at your home parking lot. On the other hand, plug-in hybrids represent an ideal entry point into e-mobility for many. The much-cited fear of range is not an issue, and on long journeys you don’t have to get used to charging from petrol to charging. And for the manufacturer, the “PHEV” models are an effective way to reduce fleet consumption if they are sold in sufficient numbers. The offer grew rapidly here – which is also reflected in the sales figures. The market share of plug-in hybrid vehicles increased from 6.1 to 9.1% year-on-year.
The shares of pure petrol (–15.6%) and diesel drives (–37.4%) have fallen significantly. However, this is less due to the customer’s interest in buying than to the statistical evaluation. Due to “mild hybrid support”, many of these vehicles are no longer classified as “petrol” or “diesel”, but as vehicles with alternative drives. However, they cannot drive a meter purely electrically. The market shares of electrified drives are likely to continue to grow in 2022 as well. Because the manufacturers have a clear roadmap for the electrification of their fleet. No model comes onto the market without – at least optional – e-support. More and more vehicle segments are being covered with electric alternatives, which means more sales. At the same time, of course, the charging infrastructure must continue to grow.
On the other hand, the used car dealers had a good year due to the ongoing delivery difficulties. The demand for used cars was extraordinarily high, and prices are rising accordingly.
Ultimately, this is also reflected in the number of motor vehicles. This has increased again – despite fewer new sales. At the end of December 2021, 6,447,749 vehicles had been registered. That’s a good 100,000 more than a year earlier.
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