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Europe December 2019: Tesla Model 3 surges to #3 in market artificially boosted up 21.4% to highest volume in history

The Tesla Model 3 is up to #3 in Europe, Dutch sales accounting for 54.5%.

19/02 update: Now with Top 55 brands and Top 345 models.

30/01 update: Now with Top 100 models.

ACEA has December European sales up 21.4% to 1.261.742 and JATO Dynamics who takes into account two less countries has the month up 21% to 1.258.412. Either way, this is the largest December volume in European history, but it was all artificial and spurred by stricter EU emissions rules taking effect on January 2020. In fact the December volume is the highest since August 2018 when new WLTP regulations also caused an artificial spike. 23 of the 27 markets followed by JATO post a double-digit gain, sales are up 27.7% in France, 19.5% in Germany, 12.5% in Italy, 6.6% in Spain and 3.4% in the UK, but also 113.9% in the Netherlands ahead of an increase from 4 to 8% in the tax rate for electric company cars and 109.3% in Sweden on a change in emissions-based taxes. SUVs soar 42% to 524.500 and 42% of the European market, its highest ever monthly share to be compared with 22% five years ago in December 2014. Electrified vehicles surge 69% to 133.200 units and a record 11% share, including 51.600 EVs (+96%), outselling Hybrids for the first time at 48.700 (+41%). But this is mainly due to artificial results in the Netherlands.

Ford has cleared inventory of the outgoing – and polluting – Kuga (+156.5%).

Based on ACEA data, the VW Group and Renault-Nissan both leap up 21.3% to top the December groups ranking, with PSA (-2.7%) hampered by an atrocious month at Opel/Vauxhall (-34.5%) relegated to third place. The BMW Group (+15.9%) advances to #4 ahead of Daimler AG (+18.3%), Hyundai-Kia (+17.1%) and Ford Motor (+19.7%). Brand-wise and this time according to JATO Dynamics, Volkswagen (+13.6%) trails the market unlike Renault (+22.7%) with Ford (+19.9%) also artificially strong as we’ll see further down. BMW (+20.9%) leaps up two spots on November to #4, Audi (+32.8%) posts the largest gain in the Top 10 and ranks #9 while Dacia (+32.3%) spectacularly hits a record #9 and slips inside the European Top 10 for the 2nd time in history after last August (also #9). Skoda (+28.1%) and Toyota (+22.9%) also outpace the market in the remainder of the Top 10 whereas Peugeot (+14.4%) and Mercedes (+12.4%) are rather muted. Volvo (+28.5%) is up to #15 and outsells Nissan (+31.3%) for the third consecutive month while Mazda (+81.3%) and Suzuki (+68.9%) score the biggest upticks in the entire Top 20, ranking #19 and #20 respectively. Just below, Tesla (+368%) breaks its all-time European volume record at 24.332 units, 51.3% coming for the Netherlands alone. MG (+315.2%), Subaru (+188.5%), Smart (+125.2%), DS (+74.3%) and Porsche (+62.9%) also fill up on sales in December.

Smart has self-registered a record amount of Fortwo in December to clear the path for the EV variant in 2020.

Model-wise, below the traditional leaders the VW Golf (+3%) and Renault Clio (+6.8%) both markedly underperforming, the Tesla Model 3 swooshes up 48 spots on November to land on the third step of the podium with over 22.000 units, obviously breaking all EV European records in the process, even though these are as always rushed deliveries of years-old orders to spruce up Elon Musk’s Quarterly results, added to a particularly artificial score in the Netherlands which accounts for 54.5% of the Model 3’s European sales for the month. Ford has continued to get rid of polluting outgoing generation Kugas (+156.5%) en masse, leading to a record 4th place after breaking into the Top 5 for the first time ever in November. Expect dismal scores for both the Model 3 and Kuga come January.  The Dacia Duster (+57.3%) scores its second European Top 5 finish of its career after ranking #2 last August, the Nissan Qashqai (+43.8%) is up 9 spots on last month to #8, the VW Tiguan (+33%) is down 5 to #7 and the Renault Captur (+30.3%) is starting to feel the effects of the new generation, even though a large part of its volume was registered to game the impending CO2 rules. Dacia also places the Sandero (+17.3%) at #9 meaning there are two Dacia’s in the Top 10 for the second time this year after last August. Further down, the Smart Fortwo (+181%) and Suzuki Vitara (+129.8%) break into the Top 25 thanks to artificial high pollution self-registrations whereas the surges of the BMW 3 Series (+126.1%) and VW Passat (+38.4%) come courtesy of new models. Below the Model 3, the VW T-Cross (#28), Skoda Scala (#94), Kamiq (#96) and Mazda CX-30 (#100) are the other recent launches making it into the December Top 100.

Previous post: Europe Full Year 2019: Last minute tax-related sales rush edges market up 1.2% to highest in 12 years

Previous month: Europe November 2019: VW Group (+13.4%) pulls market up 4.5%

Previous year: Europe December 2018: Mercedes A-Class up 47.8% to #8

Full December 2019 Top 15 groups, Top 55 brands and Top 345 models below.

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