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Europe August 2020: BMW (+8.9%), Kia (+6.8%) survive worsening market (-17.8%), Peugeot 2008 (+33.9%) #1 SUV for the first time

BMW is the only Top 10 brand in positive in August. Picture

06/10 update: Now with Top 56 All-brands and Top 352 All-models.

30/09 update: Now with final Top 25 brands and Top 100 models.

25/09 update: Now with Top 10 models, HEV, PHEV and BEV.

Just as we thought the European new car market was out of the Covid-19 woods as July only edged down -3.6%, final August sales data shows a steep worsening at -17.8% to 881.897 units (EU+EFTA+UK), an evolution you were already able to track over the past week on our Live COVID-19 Dashboard. In essence, August erases the progress made in July but is still better than March (-51.9%), April (-78.2%), May (-56.8%), or June (-24.1%). Thankfully a large part of this hiccup is explained by weak business and fleet registrations, with private sales holding up much better at -4%. Also, August traditionally being the weakest month of the year anyway, it is too early to bury the post-pandemic recovery we had observed until now. The year-to-date tally now stands at 7.247.341, a -33% year-on-year loss equivalent to 3.56 million sales. According to data by JATO Dynamics, electrified vehicle sales shoot up 121% year-on-year in August to 188.700 or 21.4% share, a new all-time record to be compared with 8% in August 2019. Among them, HEV sales are up 86% to 95.200, BEV is up 111% to 48.800 and PHEV volumes surge 283% to 44.700. Petrol sales fall below the 50% share mark at 49% vs. 61% a  year ago and diesel is down from 29% in August 2019 to 27% this month.

Kia volumes are up 6.8% year-on-year.

Whereas 9 European markets managed to tilt their volume into positive territory in July, only one does so in August: Cyprus (+14.1%), with Italy (-0.5%) by far displaying the best hold among the largest markets. The UK (-5.8%) and Spain (-10.1%) resist better than average but France (-19.8%) and Germany (-20%) underperform. Portugal (-0.1%), Luxembourg (-3.7%), Ireland (-4.5%), Denmark (-5.8%) and Lithuania (-7.3%) fare best among smaller markets while at the other end of the scale we find Romania (-51.9%), Estonia (-42.3%), Bulgaria (-34.5%), Czech Republic (-33.6%), Latvia (-31.6%), Slovakia (-30.6%), Austria (-30.1%) and Hungary (-30.1%). According to ACEA data, only 2 of the Top 10 carmaker groups manage a year-on-year uptick in August: Hyundai-Kia is up 3.3% at #4 and the BMW Group up 6.3% at #5. Meanwhile, the VW Group sinks -24.2%, the PSA Group is down -19% and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi tumbles down -22.7% meaning the entire podium falls faster than the market. The Geely Group (-2.1%), Toyota Group (-5.5%) and FCA (-6.9%) manage to keep their loss in the single-digits, with Ford Motor (-13%) slightly more solid than average and Daimler AG (-17.4%) matching the market.

Tesla is one of only four Top 30 carmakers in positive at +9.5%.

Brand-wise, according to JATO Dynamics data Volkswagen (-24.9%) takes a harsh hit in August but easily remains the most popular in Europe. Mercedes (-7.3%) gains three spots on July to #2 overall, overtaking Ford (12.1%), Peugeot (-6.6%) and Renault (-12.2%) in the process. BMW (+8.9%) scores the only year-on-year gain among the Top 10 brands and remains at the 6th spot it holds YTD. Toyota (-3.1%) and Hyundai (-9%) also resist much better than the market, Skoda (-14.6%) also but to a lesser extend but Audi (-28.4%) implodes. Just below, Kia (+6.8%) secures an outstanding performance but skids out of the Top 10 at #11. Tesla (+9.5%) and Mini (+1.2%) are the only additional gainers in the Top 25 just as Fiat (-1.6%) and Volvo (-2.7%) are almost immobile, a great result in the current context. In the naughty corner we find Suzuki (-54.5%), Mitsubishi (-39.1%), Dacia (-37%), Opel/Vauxhall (-36.7%), Seat (-33.6%) and Mazda (-27.2%).

The Peugeot 2008 is the #1 SUV in Europe in August, #7 overall.

In the models ranking, the VW Golf (-15.2%) repeats at #1 with a 6.000-unit advantage over the Renault Clio (-0.6%) stabilised by the new generation. The Peugeot 208 (+18.3%) scores the largest gain in the Top 6 to end the month a little more than 1.000 units below its archenemy the Clio, back up 2 spots to the third place it holds YTD. The Opel Corsa (+6.7%) also enjoys the benefits of a new generation, hitting #4 for the second tine this year while the Skoda Octavia (-5.5%) rounds out the Top 5 ahead of the Dacia Sandero (-21.8%) down significantly year-on-year but up 4 spots on July to #6. For the third month in a row, the Peugeot 2008 (+33.9%) is the best performer in the Top 10, repeating at an all-time record 7th place, becoming the #1 SUV in Europe as it edges past its archenemy the Renault Captur (-3.2%). and topples the YTD segment leader: the VW Tiguan (-30.1%). The Mercedes A-Class (+5.5%) is up 3 ranks on last month to score its first European Top 10 finish since last March at #10. The Ford Puma is the best-selling recent launch again, up 8 spots to a record #16.

Previous month: 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

One year ago: Europe August 2019: Dacia Duster surges to #2 overall, VW T-Roc #4 in WLTP hangover (-8.7%)

Full August 2020 Top 10 groups, Top 56 All-brands, Top 352 All-models, Top 10 HEV, PHEV and BEV below.

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