The European car market is a major market in the world. Thus, in 2021, nearly twelve million vehicles (11,750,167 exactly) were sold on this continent. And yet this sales volume is the lowest since 1985. Between 2020 and 2021, the market lost 1.7% of its sales. The cause of this decline is well known, it is the lack of electronic components (semiconductors) that caused site closures, delays in deliveries, etc. And in 2022 it should mark a further decline in sales with the war in Ukraine disrupting manufacturers who have subcontracted factories in that country.
Germany, the country of the automobile
Of all the countries that make up the European automotive market*, Germany with 2,622,199 cars sold in 2021 (despite a German market showing a 10.2% drop compared to 2020) leads sales on the European continent. France ranks second with 1,657,010 vehicles (+ 06% compared to 2020), while the United Kingdom lags behind with 1,647,760 sales (+ 1% compared to 2020). Then comes Italy (1,465,886 + 5.8%), Spain with 882,853 sales (-1.1%). The other countries are below 500,000 annual sales, while Cyprus is Tom Thumb, with only 9,393 vehicles sold in 2021.
The 1.7% drop in the European market in 2021 did not really affect electric and hybrid cars, which saw their sales increase significantly in 2021. Thanks to tax incentives, sales of these vehicles accounted for 19 % of European registrations. Among the brands that are doing well, we can mention Tesla, which with 167,969 vehicles sold achieved a very good score in 2021 (+ 70.9% compared to 2020). It is thanks to the Tesla Model 3 that is in the Top 50 sales (it is the seventeenth) that the American manufacturer advances. Chinese manufacturers (specializing in electric and hybrid) are also making a leap forward even though their sales are still declining. Thus, 65,737 Chinese models found grips in 2021, an increase of 113.1% compared to 2020.
Asians in great shape
On the good side we can mention the Hyundai-Kia group (+ 20.5%), Suzuki also saw its sales increase by 14.2%, Subaru by 9.4%, but this is a small volume of sales with 21,022 copies. More significant is the increase in Toyota sales (+ 9%) which show a significant volume with 753,426 vehicles sold in 2021, among which the Toyota Yaris ranks seventh. Despite the decline, the highest sales volumes come from the VW group (2,939,787 vehicles -3.4%) which again puts its Volkswagen Golf at the forefront of sales, of Stellantis (2,381,030 vehicles -1.6% ) of which Peugeot 208 and 2008 Peugeot are in second place. and fifth place respectively, in the Renault Nissan Alliance with a Renault Clio coming in fourth. It should be noted that with 1,407,301 vehicles sold in 2021, the Renault Group without Nissan and Mitsubishi is down 11%, the Nissan Group is down 14.1% and Mitsubishi is down 29.2%.
Sedans and all-terrain neck and neck
Among the best-selling cars are, of course, SUVs, whether urban, compact or family-friendly. The category of these vehicles accounts for almost half of European sales with a total of 5,342,705 vehicles sold. But sedans (city, compact, family, road) have not said their last word and even surpass SUVs with 5,708,065 registrations. The big losers are still minivans and minivans, whose sales fell 35.1% compared to 2020 (242,347 vehicles).
*Jato Dynamics’ European market data covers twenty-eight countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.