“Who will become market leader in electric vehicles (EV’s) in the Netherlands?” I questioned on this blog in March 2012. Now that we have passed the first half of 2012 we might not have to wait until the end of the year to get this question answered.
At that time I wrote, that the winner would be the brand that has
- a product tailored to the needs of business drivers,
- the best marketing and sales program aimed at fleet owners and drivers ,
- excellent relationships with lease companies,
- solutions for charging and
- has an understanding how to bring the best offer to the table in a (public) procurement processes.
As groen7.nl reports it, this is the top of sales until now July 1st. Behind the name of the car it says the number of units sold.
- Opel Ampera – 1.280
- Nissan Leaf – 131
- Fisker Karma – 112 (pas vanaf 2012 leverbaar)
- Chevrolet Volt – 99
- Peugeot iOn – 94
- Renault Fluenze Z.E. – 90
- Smart ForTwo electric drive – 55
- Citroen C-Zero – 41
- Tesla Roadster – 17
- Mitsubishi iMiEV – 10
The Opel Ampere is clearly the winner. Not surprising when you consider this offer is the complete package. The product is well developed. It is electric, but with a range extender, that allows you to drive it up to 500 kilometers. The design is reasonably good looking. And important: there are no boundaries to your driving distance, like there is with some of the other EV’s. Opel traditionally has a solid position amongst lease companies and business drivers. And also in this case the dealer organization seems to be well trained for selling cars to business drivers. Some the of the regulations around electric cars for tax benefits are complex. This means that the sales people should have enough knowledge to explain this to potential customers. The Opel sales force clearly seems to have this skill.
The Ampera comes with a charging solution by the New Motion. They offer a charging station at home for free (special situations excluded) and a prepaid card which allows you to charge your car at charging stations anywhere.
And the marketing…. They certainly prepared the launch well, with an introduction of the Ampera at the 2011 RAI motorshow, the famous Dutch actress Carice van Houten as an ambassador and an extended (online) campaign.
It’s now up to Toyota to counter this success when they launch the Prius plug-in hybrid.