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Europe May 2020: UK weakens market recovery to -56.9%, Mercedes, Volvo, Tesla and DS stand out, Clio #1

DS sees its volume decline “just” -41.6% year-on-year in May. Picture largus.fr

9/07 update: Now with Top 370 All-models.

2/07 update: Now with actuals for Top 25 brands and Top 100 models.

29/06 update: Now with Top 10 models overall, Hybrid, PHEV and EV (Source JATO Dynamics).

Final figures by JATO Dynamics have the European market (EU+EFTA+UK) down -56.9% year-on-year in May to 622.067 units vs. 1.444.173 in May 2019, an improvement on the -78.2% of April but still worse than the -51.9% of March and falling to the lowest May volume since ACEA started reporting data in 1990. But you know this already if you followed live updates of European May sales in our COVID-19 Dashboard that last showed Europe at… -56.8% over 25 markets. We will resume updating European data early next month as markets start sharing their June results. The year-to-date tally is now down -43% to 3.958.009 units and our average 2020 forecast for Europe now stands at -27%.

Tesla manages the best hold among the Top 30 brands at -32%.

This month Germany (-49.5%), Italy (-49.6%) and France (-50.3%) have improved significantly on April but the overall European volume is weighed down by shocking results in the UK (-89%) and Spain (-72.7%). Cyprus (-29.4%), Slovenia (-31.7%), Belgium (-32%), Austria (-33.9%) and Norway (-39%) fare best in May whereas the UK (-89%), Croatia (-76.2%), Portugal (-74.7%) and Ireland (-74.4%) are the most affected for the month. Scrappage schemes in France, Spain and potentially Italy will help Europe reduce its fall further in June but to what an extend remains hard to predict.

Mercedes drops -51.3% year-on-year in May.

According to JATO Dynamics, petrol (-62%) and diesel (-59%) sales continue to freefall in May but electrified vehicles are down just -8% to 95.300 units vs. 103.400 in May 2019, meaning their market share shoots up from 7.2% to 15.3% over the same period. Year-to-date electrified sales now stand at 600.500 vs. 1.17m diesel sales. According  to ACEA data, the Volkswagen Group (-56.7%) matches the market with just under 156.000 sales ahead of the PSA Group (-59.7%) in difficulty and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (-55.4%) edging just above the market decline. FCA (-56.6%) leaps back up 5 spots on April to #4 as Italy recovers, Hyundai-Kia (-54.3%) remains at #5 above the BMW Group (-57%) and Daimler (-55.2%) while the Toyota Group (-54.5%) and Geely/Volvo (-51.3%) resist ok but Ford Motor (-61.9%) endures the sharpest fall in the Top 10.

Volvo sales are down -50.4% compared to May 2019.

There is no Top 13 brand losing less than -50% in May, the majority of carmakers streamlining their losses to within a slim -53%/-58% range. Volkswagen (-56.4%) remains on top while Renault (-53.3%), Peugeot (-54.1%) and Mercedes (-51.3%) return the Top 4 to its YTD order. Ford (-61.7%) is up two spots on April to #5 despite ending the worst fall in the Top 10 while Audi (-53.6%) overtakes Skoda (-52.9%) to #6 with BMW (-58.1%) and Toyota (-54%) in tow and Fiat (-57.6%) rallies back up 6 spots to #10 as Italy recovers. Below, Kia (-49.6%), Volvo (-50.4%) and Dacia (-53.5%) resist while outside the Top 20, Ferrari (-19.1%), Tesla (-32%), Porsche (-37.1%), DS (-41.6%), Mitsubishi (-47.8%), Subaru (-47.4%) and Ssangyong (-48.8%) score the best holds. Selling less than 200 units, DR Motor (+6.8%) is the only marque in positive in May. In contrast Smart (-90.3%), Jaguar (-75.2%), Honda (-69.9%), Opel (-69.8%), Nissan (-66.8%) and Seat (-66.2%) continue to suffer.

The Renault Clio is #1 in Europe for the 2nd time in 13 years.

The Renault Clio (-51.1%) takes the overall lead for the 2nd time in the past 4 months (and 13 years) thanks to greater availability of its 5th generation which represents 80% of the nameplate’s May sales. This is only the 6th time in the nameplate’s 30-year history that the Clio is #1 across Europe after September 1991April, June and October 2006 and February 2020. In contrast, the VW Golf (-63.5%) is handicapped by the mid-May delivery interruption of its new generation due to a software error, resulting in a poor 17% ratio of new gen in May sales. Also boosted by a new model and a new EV variant, the Peugeot 208 (-46.3%) snaps its 2nd podium finish of 2020 after last February and also secures the last podium spot in the YTD ranking, bumping off the Ford Focus.

The Ford Kuga is the best-selling PHEV in Europe for the first time.

The Dacia Sandero (-52.1%) is up 16 spots on April to #4, its record European ranking also hit in November 2018, May and July 2019, while the VW Tiguan (-54.4%) is down one to #5 and the Renault Captur (-45.7%) is up 7 to #6, its highest overall European ranking since June 2019 (#3). The VW T-Roc (-49%) is up 3 to #7, its 5th ever European Top 10 finish so far this year. Meanwhile the Dacia Duster (-56%) lodges its first Top 10 finish of 2020 at #9, the Citroen C3 (-55.1%) scoops up a 4th Top 10 in the past 9 months and the Peugeot 2008 (-47.4%) is lifted by its new generation to a new all-time European ranking record at #12, eclipsing the #13 it reached in February 2017 and September 2018.

The Ford Puma (#27) is the best-selling recent launch above the Skoda Kamiq (#48), Mazda CX-30 (#80), Audi Q3 Sportback (#84) and Kia Xceed (#107). The Land Rover Defender is up 14 spots to #234 while the Polestar 1 slips out of the Top 300 at #322. The Toyota Corolla remains the best-selling hybrid vehicle in Europe above the Toyota C-HR and RAV4 with the Ford Puma toppling the Toyota Yaris to advance to #4. The Renault Zoe reclaims the EV top spot off the Tesla Model 3 with the VW Golf climbing to #2, the Hyundai Kona up to #4, the Audi e-Tron #5 and the Peugeot 208 making its entrance into the Top 10 at #8. The Ford Kuga is the #1 PHEV for the first time in May.

Previous month: Europe April 2020: Locked down ghost month (-78.2%) sees BMW (-64%), Skoda (-61%) hit record rankings

One year ago: Europe May 2019: Germany pulls market to first gain in 9 months (+0.04%), BMW shines, Fiat 500 hits record ranking

Full May 2020 Top 10 groups, Top 25 brands, Top 370 All-models and Top 10 HEV, BEV and PHEV models below.

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