In December 2020, European car sales were down 3.8% to 1.21 million units. That makes it the third-best month of 2020 in both absolute and relative terms, after September (up 0.9%, to 1.3 million) and July (down 2.2% to 1.28 million). Among Europe’s five major car markets, only Germany posted a solid gain at +9.9%, with sales stable in Spain, but Italy (-14.9%), the UK (-10.9%) and France (-11.8%) suffer double-digit losses.
Sales of car models (hatchback, sedan, stationwagon, coupe and convertible) outperform the market at +1.1% to their highest share of the year at 55.3%. Crossover and SUV surprisingly are down 9% and are down to 39.1% share, the second-lowest of the year. Meanwhile, MPV sales are down 32.2% to 5.7% share. Within these figures, EV and PHEV sales had a historic month. If last month a new monthly record of 166,000 registrations wat set, in December plug-in vehicles crush that record with 281,000 deliveries, up 264% on last year. That means a market share of 23.2% (14% for EVs), also a record. In December, EVs were up 223% to nearly 169,000 deliveries and PHEVs were up 347% to just over 112,000 deliveries. This is not just a result of better acceptance of electric cars and a more widespread availability across brands and models, but also because of pre-registrations or self-registrations by manufacturers to lower their average fleet CO2 emissions for 2020 in order to avoid or lower their penalties. As a result, you’ll see lower EV and PHEV registrations and market share in the first quarter of 2021 before continuing their rise.
December 2020 Manufacturers
Volkswagen Group handily beats the overall market at +7.9%, while Renault-Nissan loses share at -14.4% but still manages to outsell PSA which is up 1.5%. BMW AG holds on to 4th place with sales down 10%, staying ahead of Daimler AG at -13.7%. Hyundai-Kia is down 7.4% but is back ahead of FCA (+3.5%) and Toyota Motor (+21.6%). The latter is the best performing manufacturer in Europe this month. On the other end of the spectrum, Ford Motor Company sales are down 21.5% to make it the worst performer among major manufacturers. Geely Group is up 10.2%, Tesla is up 8.5% and Tata Motors is up 9.5%. Suzuki is down 40.8% and Mazda is down 39.1%, but that’s more a testament to their artificially high December 2019 when these manufacturers self-registered a large number of inefficient vehicles in order to lower their 2020 average fleet emissions. Honda and Subaru continue to struggle in Europe with sales down 22.8% and 63.6% respectively. Even SAIC Motor ended the year on a down note, at -36.9%.
|9||Ford Motor Comp.||62.517||79.665||-21,5%|
|18||Mahindra & Mahindra||704||1.675||-58,0%|
December 2020 Brands
In the brands ranking, Volkswagen is back up again after a loss in November. At +15.8% it improves its market share to 13%, while its nearest rival Renault is down 10.9%. Peugeot is in third place with sales up slightly, passing Mercedes-Benz with sales down 2.2%. BMW is down to 5th place with a loss of 9.1%. As in the manufacturers ranking, Toyota is the big winner and Ford the big loser of the major brands. Skoda, Audi and Fiat complete the top-10 with single-digit moves, while Hyundai outsells Opel/Vauxhall, despite a 13.4% gain for the latter. Dacia ends a difficult year in the negative with a loss of 19.4%. The new generation Sandero arrives in January and the Spring small EV later in 2021 to give the brand a boost again. Kia struggles in December at -14.2% and so does Mini at -13.6%. Porsche on the other hand is up 18% to outsell Honda. Jaguar is up 34.5% thanks to a large batch of self-registered I-Pace EVs and the British brand outsells Mitsubishi, down 32.2%. Like in November, Smart suffers a huge loss in December compared to last year, when it self-registered the last batch of non-EV models. Alfa Romeo is stable and ends the year behind sister brand Lancia, which is only sold in Italy.
In regards to Chinese (EV) brands, Polestar has its best month so far with 2,858 deliveries, but SAIC MG is down 36.9%. Newcomer Aiways registered 383 units of its U5 electric SUV, all in The Netherlands. As such, it lands just ahead of DR Motor, the Italian brand selling Chinese cars in Italy and Spain.
|Brand||Dec-20||Dec-19||change||2020 share||2019 share|
European car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. They exclude vehicles registered as commercial vehicles. Source: ANDC, JATO Dynamics