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Europe July 2020: Market fall thaws to -3.6%, xEVs hold record 18% share, Renault and BMW surge, VW Golf #1, Peugeot 2008 up to record #7

The Peugeot 2008 smashes its European ranking record at #7. Picture

31/08 update: Now with Top 353 All-models.

28/08 update: Now with final Top 55 All-brands and Top 100 models.

As you have already tracked on our Live COVID-19 Dashboard, the European new car market has spectacularly stabilised in July, posting a slim -3.6% year-on-year drop to 1.278.521 units (EU+EFTA+UK) according to final figures by JATO Dynamics. This is the largest monthly volume since September 2019 and the smallest year-on-year decline in all of 2020, even better than the pre-pandemic months of January (-7.6%) and February (-7%). The year-to-date tally is now down -35% year-on-year to 6.37 million sales. In essence, July closes a dreadful Covid-19 episode in Europe, marked by four consecutive double-digit declines between March and June that culminated in April (-78.2%) when the entire continent bar Sweden was under strict lockdown measures. Having showed the way to recovery as the only European market in positive in June, France (+3.9%) repeats in July, but among large markets the UK (+11.3%) does even better, with Spain (+1.1%) also tilting into positive territory alongside Lithuania (+22%), Luxembourg (+15%), Denmark (+14%), Slovenia (+7%), Norway (+6%) and the Netherlands (+2%). However Italy Italy (-11.2%) and Germany (-5.4%) are still faring worse than a year ago.

The VW Golf reclaims the #1 spot in Europe. Picture

Two long-term European trends are reinforced in July: those towards more SUVs and more electrified vehicles. SUV volumes gain 4.9% year-on-year to 530.800 units, the segment’s largest monthly volume in over a year, hitting a record 41.5% share vs. 38.2% a year ago in July 2019. Electrified vehicle sales reach all-time record levels in July, having already bucked the negative trend over the past few months and now both unbridled by dealership reopening and also encouraged by government incentives aimed at spurring a green recovery across the continent. xEV sales pass the 200.000 monthly sales unit milestone for the first time in European history, up 131% year-on-year to 230.700 units and 18% share vs. 7.5% in July 2019 and 5.7% in July 2018. HEV (Hybrid and Mild Hybrid) is up 89% to 121.700, PHEV up a surreal 365% to 55.800 from 12.000 in July 2019 and BEV is up 127% to 53.200 from 23.400 a year ago. Merging these two trends, 48% of electrified vehicles sold in Europe in July are SUVs.

Renault soars 22.8%, wth the Clio up 24.9% and the Captur (pictured) up 39.6%. Picture

Brands data shows Volkswagen (-5.7%) falling slightly faster than the market but easily retaining the top spot above Renault (+23.5%) which in contrast posts the largest gain among the Top 24 carmakers this month. Peugeot (+1.9%) also edges up in third place above Ford (-5.2%) and Mercedes (+4.1%) experiencing opposite fortunes. The rest of the Top 10 is in excellent shape: BMW (+18.2%), Kia (+13.9%) and Skoda (+6.9%) all post sturdy gains, Toyota (+1.5%) edges up and only Audi (-7.3%) underperforms. The situation outside the Top 10 is a lot more grim: only Porsche (+49.4%), Mini (+20.6%),  Volvo (+9.1%), Land Rover (+5.9%), Mitsubishi (+3.9%) and Lexus (+2.6%) manage a year-on-year uptick in the remainder of the Top 32. Reversely, Suzuki (-36.4%), Opel (-35.7%), Jaguar (-21%), Seat (-17.7%), Jeep (-17.4%), Citroen (-17%), Mazda (-16.1%) and Dacia (-13%) are all in freefall, but none as much as Tesla (-74.8%) imploding down to just 1.094 sales vs. 4.347 a year ago and over 19.000 in September 2019. Have all Tesla customers been served already? Among smaller carmakers, MG (+142.2%), Ferrari (+39%), Mahindra (+37.2%), Ssangyong (+16.5%) and Lamborghini (+13.5%) stand out while Polestar (#46 climbs above 100 sales for the first time.

The Skoda Octavia scores its third ever European podium finish at #3.

Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf (-3.3%) is finally racking up 8th generation sales, limiting its year-on-year fall to single-digits for the first time in 2020 and reclaiming the European pole position for the first time since April. Leader over the past two months, the Renault Clio (+24.9%) falls to #2 in July but showcases an impressive year-on-year gain nonetheless. The Skoda Octavia (+17.7%) is also helped by a new generation to a third ever podium finish after August 2017 (#3) and April 2020 (#2), distancing the VW Tiguan (-16.3%) and Peugeot 208 (+17.2%). Only 355 units below its archenemy the Renault Captur (+39.6%), thanks to a much-improved new generation the Peugeot 2008 (+56.9%) breaks its European ranking record for the third consecutive month after May (#12) and June (#10), leaping to 7th place overall. The VW T-Roc (+12.7%) lodges a 6th Top 10 finish at #8 with the Opel Corsa (+2.9%) and Dacia Sandero (-8%) rounding up an extremely close Top 10: only 1.300 sales separating #5 from #10.

The Hyundai Kona breaks into the European Top 20 for the very first time.

Below, the Ford Focus (+13.2%), Mercedes A-Class (+16%) and Toyota Yaris (+9.4%) all post solid results, the Hyundai Kona (+57.6%) is lifted by the success of its EV variant to a new record ranking at #20, while the Volvo XC40 (+67.7%), Mini Hatch (+27.9%) and Toyota C-HR (+24.2%) close the Top 30 in fantastic fashion. By far the most successful recent launch in Europe (and the world), the Ford Puma breaks into the Top 25 for the first time at #24 and distances the Skoda Kamiq (#48), Mazda CX-30 (#82) and Kia Xceed (#85). In the xEV aisle (sales from 20 markets), the Toyota C-HR remains the most popular HEV above the Toyota Corolla, with the Ford Puma up two spots on June to #3, knocking the Toyota RAV4 and Yaris down. The Ford Kuga is up 89% on June to cement its PHEV top spot, now selling almost double the Mercedes A-Class, up 5 ranks to #2. The Volvo XC40 stays #3, the BMW 3 Series is up 6 ranks to #4 and we welcome the BMW X1 and Peugeot 3008 in the Top 10. Finally the Renault Zoe remains the #1 BEV in Europe, this time above the Hyundai Kona, VW Golf, Kia Niro and Peugeot 208. #2 in June, the Tesla Model 3 is outside the July Top 10.

Previous post: Europe First Half 2020: Covid-19 hits sales -39.5% to lowest in 45 years, Clio threatens Golf

Previous month: Europe June 2020: France (+1.2%) helps limit fall to -24.1%, Volvo & Porsche up, Renault Clio triumphs, Peugeot 2008 scores first ever Top 10

One year ago: Europe July 2019: Mercedes (+18.2%), Dacia (+18%), Skoda (+14.8%) headline highest market since 2007

Full July 2020 Top 56 All-brands, Top 353 All-models, Top 10 HEV, PHEV and EV models below.

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