In October, the European new car market grew 14% year-on-year to 903,533 new vehicles, its third consecutive month of growth in 2022.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “In October 2021, the market faced the worst of the semiconductor crisis, but a year later it has understood the challenge and is learning to deal with it.”
However, positive results in August, September and October were not enough to offset the losses in the first seven months of the year. YTD, volume reached 9.09 million units, down 8%.
When the pandemic hit the European market from January to October 2020, the volume was 9.67 million.
Munoz added: “The impact of the shortage of new cars at dealerships, alongside economic and geopolitical uncertainty, has been more detrimental to sales volumes than the 2020 lockdowns. As OEMs adjust to this new reality, consumers are also understanding that they have longer have to deal with waiting times than before for new cars.”
The growth in October was partly explained by the strong performance of the Volkswagen Group. The automaker registered 230,115 units, a volume increase of 40%, mainly thanks to Audi, Skoda and Cupra.
However, this was significantly lower than the 281,700 units registered in October 2020 and the 302,000 (approximately) units registered in October 2019.
Toyota also performed well with a sales increase of 47%, better than the results of 2019 and 2020 thanks to the success of the latest launches. But Lexus saw volume drop 14%.
Ford increased registrations by 35% thanks to the Puma and Fiesta, but failed to match 2019 and 2020 volumes with 77,600 and 60,600 units respectively.
October was a record month for MG as the Chinese manufacturer registered more than 12,000 new vehicles. In the same month last year, the volume was 4,800 units and just over 2,900 units in 2020.
Munoz said: “This success is explained by the introduction of more attractive products, especially their electrified range, at competitive prices. MG proves that Chinese manufacturers can be successful in Europe with the right offer.”
BEV Registrations Exceed 1m YTD
Last month EVs (BEV and PHEV) accounted for 23% of the total volume. Despite a 15% volume increase, the market share for these vehicles remained the same as in October 2021. BEV registrations were 119,600 units, up 15%, while PHEV registrations were 88,200 units, up 13%. So far, BEV demand is up 24% to 1,103,055 units.
The VW brand led the market in October with a market share of 12.7% – this rose to 25% with the inclusion of other brands under the Volkswagen Group umbrella. Renault followed suit thanks to the success of the Megane E-Tech, while demand for the Zoe declined. BMW volume was up 111%, with growth driven by the i4 and iX making it the third most popular EV brand with a 7.1% market share.
Peugeot 208 on top
Despite losing momentum in recent months, the Peugeot 208 returned to first place in both the monthly and YTD model rankings, significantly ahead of the second-place Dacia Sandero. The 208 was likely to overthrow the Golf as Europe’s best-selling car by the end of this year.
The BEV ranking was led by two VW models – the ID.4 and the ID.3. Sales of the former continued to grow due to its important market position as a mid-sized electric SUV. In contrast, registrations of the ID.3 fell 3% and 41% in October to 34,320 units YTD.
Third in the BEV ranking was the Fiat 500, which has maintained its position as the most popular electric car since January, excluding Tesla models. The Renault Megane E-Tech became the fifth most popular electric car in Europe, surpassing rivals such as the Cupra Born and Nissan Leaf by a significant margin.
Polestar entered the top 10 thanks to strong performance from the 2 – the best-selling premium EV in October, ahead of the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. The latter in particular became the most popular electric BMW.