European car sales analysis December 2020 – brands

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%.

Group Dec-20 Dec-19 change
1 Volkswagen Group 316.287 293.083 7,9%
2 Renault-Nissan 163.245 190.597 -14,4%
3 PSA 160.896 159.315 1,0%
4 BMW AG 87.016 96.657 -10,0%
5 Daimler AG 77.958 90.329 -13,7%
6 Hyundai-Kia 74.998 81.006 -7,4%
7 Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles 69.022 66.704 3,5%
8 Toyota Motor 68.001 55.943 21,6%
9 Ford Motor Comp. 62.517 79.665 -21,5%
10 Geely Group 36.971 33.540 10,2%
11 Tesla Motors 26.318 24.249 8,5%
12 Tata Motors 15.847 14.474 9,5%
13 Suzuki 15.821 26.728 -40,8%
14 Mazda 15.796 25.933 -39,1%
15 Honda 8.208 10.633 -22,8%
16 Subaru Corp. 2.231 6.122 -63,6%
17 SAIC 1.704 2.699 -36,9%
18 Mahindra & Mahindra 704 1.675 -58,0%
19 Aston Martin 201 322 -37,6%
20 General Motors 56 57 -1,8%

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
1 Volkswagen 156.448 135.122 15,8% 13,0% 10,7%
2 Renault 85.717 96.239 -10,9% 7,1% 7,6%
3 Peugeot 73.923 73.561 0,5% 6,1% 5,8%
4 Mercedes-Benz 73.231 74.869 -2,2% 6,1% 5,9%
5 BMW 70.160 77.163 -9,1% 5,8% 6,1%
6 Toyota 62.794 50.961 23,2% 5,2% 4,0%
7 Ford 62.517 79.665 -21,5% 5,2% 6,3%
8 Skoda 59.090 57.193 3,3% 4,9% 4,5%
9 Audi 54.853 58.315 -5,9% 4,6% 4,6%
10 Fiat 46.756 46.223 1,2% 3,9% 3,7%
11 Hyundai 43.190 43.913 -1,6% 3,6% 3,5%
12 Opel/Vauxhall 42.029 37.049 13,4% 3,5% 2,9%
13 Dacia 40.522 50.286 -19,4% 3,4% 4,0%
14 Citroën 39.981 43.325 -7,7% 3,3% 3,4%
15 Seat 36.823 34.773 5,9% 3,1% 2,8%
16 Volvo 34.022 33.482 1,6% 2,8% 2,7%
17 Kia 31.808 37.093 -14,2% 2,6% 2,9%
18 Nissan 30.158 33.471 -9,9% 2,5% 2,7%
19 Tesla 26.318 24.249 8,5% 2,2% 1,9%
20 Mini 16.798 19.450 -13,6% 1,4% 1,5%
21 Suzuki 15.821 26.728 -40,8% 1,3% 2,1%
22 Mazda 15.796 25.933 -39,1% 1,3% 2,1%
23 Jeep 12.386 11.567 7,1% 1,0% 0,9%
24 Land Rover 9.274 9.587 -3,3% 0,8% 0,8%
25 Porsche 8.572 7.263 18,0% 0,7% 0,6%
26 Honda 8.208 10.633 -22,8% 0,7% 0,8%
27 Jaguar 6.573 4.887 34,5% 0,5% 0,4%
28 Mitsubishi 6.513 9.605 -32,2% 0,5% 0,8%
29 Lexus 5.207 4.982 4,5% 0,4% 0,4%
30 DS 4.963 5.380 -7,8% 0,4% 0,4%
31 Lancia 4.749 3.926 21,0% 0,4% 0,3%
32 Smart 4.727 15.460 -69,4% 0,4% 1,2%
33 Alfa Romeo 4.239 4.246 -0,2% 0,4% 0,3%
34 Polestar 2.858 New 0,2% 0,0%
35 Subaru 2.231 6.122 -63,6% 0,2% 0,5%
36 SAIC MG 1.704 2.699 -36,9% 0,1% 0,2%
37 SSangYong 576 1.586 -63,7% 0,0% 0,1%
38 Maserati 438 461 -5,0% 0,0% 0,0%
39 Aiways 383 0 New 0,0% 0,0%
40 DR Motor 357 201 77,6% 0,0% 0,0%
41 Bentley 300 320 -6,3% 0,0% 0,0%
42 Alpine 257 418 -38,5% 0,0% 0,0%
43 Ferrari 246 171 43,9% 0,0% 0,0%
44 Aston Martin 201 322 -37,6% 0,0% 0,0%
45 Lamborghini 140 93 50,5% 0,0% 0,0%
46 Dodge 136 39 248,7% 0,0% 0,0%
47 Mahindra 128 89 43,8% 0,0% 0,0%
48 Lotus 86 58 48,3% 0,0% 0,0%
49 Lada 77 433 -82,2% 0,0% 0,0%
50 Rolls Royce 58 44 31,8% 0,0% 0,0%
51 Great Wall 38 23 65,2% 0,0% 0,0%
52 Chevrolet 29 46 -37,0% 0,0% 0,0%
53 Cadillac 25 8 212,5% 0,0% 0,0%
54 Chrysler 6 4 50,0% 0,0% 0,0%
55 Geely 5 0 New 0,0% 0,0%
56 Infiniti 1 145 -99,3% 0,0% 0,0%

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