skip to Main Content

Europe September 2020: First gain of the year (+1.1%) is optical illusion, VW ID.3 cracks Top 10 in 6 markets, wins 2

It’s official: the VW ID.3 is an instant blockbuster.

20/11 update: Now with Top 57 All-brands and actuals for Top 100 models.

14/11 update: Now with Top 355 All-models, Top 10 BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs. Complete brands data will follow shortly.

Provisional data released by ACEA shows the very first year-on-year uptick of 2020 for the European new car market in September at +1.1% to 1.300.048 registrations (EU+EFTA+UK), an evolution you were already able to track over the past two weeks on our Live COVID-19 Dashboard. However this is a bit of an optical illusion as year-ago volumes remained weak across Europe due to WLTP regulation disruptions: yes, September 2019 was up 14.4% on 2018 but still down -12.3% on 2017, which was a more realising comparison set. The year-to-date tally now stands at 8.567.920 units, down -29.3% or a gaping 3.55 million units over the same period in 2019. Moreover, prospects for the rest of the year are dark as most of Europe is now hit by a second, larger coronavirus wave that has already brought record new daily cases in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy as of October 15. Thankfully death figures appear to be a lot lower than during the first wave so far. Some countries have already enacted partial lockdowns such as Spain and the UK, with France imposing a nighttime curfew in 8 of its largest cities from October 17 onwards. The return of strict lockdowns and widespread business closures – a very real possibility at the time of writing this article – will inevitably trigger a second new car sales implosion over the fourth Quarter.

In September, Italy (+9.8%) and Germany (+8.4%) are the only two Top 5 markets in positive, with France (-3%), the UK (-4.4%) and Spain (-13.5%) receding. Romania (+79.9%), Ireland (+65.9%), Iceland (+41.4%), Norway (+39.4%), Slovakia (+31%), Luxembourg (+23.1%), Greece (+20.5%), Hungary (+18.6%) and Lithuania (+17.8%) all post fantastic double-digit gains whereas Bulgaria (-27.7%), Netherlands (-21.9%), Slovenia (-16.6%), Croatia (-12.8%) and Switzerland (-11.4%) all struggle. In the groups ranking and according to ACEA data, the VW Group (+14.1%) brilliantly manage the largest gain in the Top 10, pushing its volume to just under 295.000 units. That’s over 115.000 more than the #2, PSA Group (-14.1%) in contrast struggling with the steepest fall in the Top 10. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (+5.4%) is also solid at #3 above Hyundai-Kia (-0.8%), BMW Group (-11.9%) and Daimler AG (-7.7%) all in negative. FCA (+11.8%) and the Toyota Group (+8.7%) also impress in the remainder of the Top 10.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+7.2%) widens the gap with its followers as the only Top 4 brand in positive above Renault (-1.1%),  Mercedes (-4.8%), and Ford (-4.5%). Peugeot (+3.1%) also beats the market at #5. Audi (+41.6%) recuperates from a drab year-ago volume to post by far the largest gain in the Top 10, with Skoda (+16.8%) and Toyota (+12.6%) also very impressive. Reversely Opel/Vauxhall (-32.7%) and BMW (-9%) go against the market growth with stifling losses. Below, Great Wall (+525%), MG (+200.4%), DR Motor (+163.3%), Mahindra (+140%), Geely (+250%), Suzuki (+52.8%), Bentley (+48.7%), Dacia (+32.1%), Ferrari (+30.1%), Jeep (+28.3%), Fiat (+14.9%) and Lancia (+12.4%) also manage to post significant year-on-year upticks. In the naughty corner: Lada (-61%), mart (-47.3%), Aston Martin (-46.6%), Jaguar (-33%), Mazda (-19.6%), Mini (-19.4%), Porsche (-18.6%), DS (-14%) and Mitsubishi (-12.6%), 

The Ford Puma misses out on a first Top 10 finish by just 330 units…

One very significant event in September in Europe is the very successful arrival of the VW ID.3 in dealerships across the continent. Volkswagen’s first EV nameplate instantly becomes the best-selling vehicle outright in Norway (#1) and Ireland (#1), and already ranks inside the Top 20 of at least 7 additional markets: Iceland (#3), Denmark (#5), Finland (#6), Switzerland (#9), Netherlands (#11), Sweden (#15) and Austria (#16). The ID.3 lands directly at #49. Exclusive partial October data also shows the ID.3 in the overall lead in Norway again as well as in the Netherlands, so the next few months will be fascinating to follow as it starts to gain traction in larger markets such as Germany, France and the UK and start climbing the European charts for good…

Over in the models tanking, the VW Golf (-11.3%), Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (-7.7%) and Renault Clio (-11.7%) all underperform, but that doesn’t mean their don’t monopolise the podium like they now do year-to-date, the Corsa having pipped the Peugeot 208 (+28.7%) for third place. The Renault Captur (+21.4%) finds its European SUV crown again, while the Dacia Sandero (+56.5%), VW Polo (+39.8%) and Skoda Octavia (+11.8%) all impress with stellar gains in the remainder of the Top 10. The Ford Puma advances a further 4 spots to end the month at #12, only 330 units off a historical European Top 10 finish. Note it’s the Puma third consecutive all-time European ranking record, showing there’s still no end in sight just yet as far as its honeymoon with the European public is concerned… 

After a two-year hiatus, the Nissan Juke returns to the European Top 50.

The Peugeot 2008 (+26.4%) is down 4 spots on August and loses its SUV crown to the Captur but still scores a very respectable 11th place vs. #16 YTD and #21 in 2019 and is the 2nd best-selling SUV on the continent, just above the Ford Puma, Nissan Qashqai (-13.3%) and VW Tiguan (-15.9%). the Fiat Panda is lifted up 35.7% by its mild hybrid variant already very successful at home in Italy, and thanks to its new PHEV version (see further down), the Volvo XC40 (+56.7%) scores its 2nd highest European ranking ever at #25 (record is #23 last June). Thanks to its 2nd generation, the Nissan Juke (+272%), returns to the European Top 50 for the first time in exactly two years (September 2018), with the Renault Zoe (+210.7%), Kia Niro (+97%), Audi Q3 (+80.1%), Seat Leon (+74.2%), BMW 1 Series (+62.1%), VW Passat (+47.9%), Audi A3 (+46.4%), Hyundai Kona (+44.4%), Toyota C-HR (+38.6%) and RAV4 (+20.1%) also very impressive in the remainder of the Top 50. As we estimated earlier this month, the VW ID.3 cracks the European Top 50 for its first full month in market at #49.

The Toyota Corolla keeps the lead of the Hybrid charts with over 15.000 sales in 23 markets for the months while the Ford Puma climbs to 2nd place for the first time thanks to 12.251 sales. It dislodges the Toyota C-HR, itself distancing the Toyota Yaris and Fiat 500. The Toyota RAV4 is knocked out of the Top 5 at #6, while the Fiat Panda makes its first appearance in the European HEV Top 10 at #7. The Mercedes A-Class is the best-selling PHEV in Europe for the very first time in September, distancing the Volvo XC40 up to a record 2nd place, the Audi Q5 also at a record 3rd place, the VW Passat and Mitsubishi Outlander. Notice also the Toyota RAV4 entering the PHEV Top 10 at #10. The Tesla Model 3 remains the most popular BEV on the continent at over 15.700 units in 23 markets with the Renault Zoe in tow at just over 11.000 sales. But the big event of course is the arrival of the VW ID.3 directly in third place with just under 8.000 units, a figure that is sure to be improved over the next few months. Finally, note the arrival of the Opel/Vauhxall Corsa in the BEV Top 10 at #9.

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

One year ago: Europe September 2019: VW, Renault, Tesla lift market up 14.4% on 2018 but still down -12.3% on 2017

Full September 2020 Top 10 groups, Top 57 All- brands, Top 355 All-models, Top 10 HEV, PHEV and BEV models below.

This content is for Platinum members only.
Log In Register
Back To Top