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Europe Full Year 2020: Market down -24%, Toyota (-11.9%), Skoda (-11.6%) resist

The Toyota Yaris is up to #6 in Europe in 2020. Picture

Discover 50 years of European Historical Data here.

04/02/21 update: Now with Top 58 All-brands and Top 430 All-models.

According to final data by JATO Dynamics, new car sales in Europe (EU+UK+EFTA) fall -24% year-on-year in 2020 to 11.941.633 units, a loss of 3.845.000 sales compared to 2019 and the lowest annual tally since 1993. Among the five main European markets, Germany (-19.1%) fares best, followed by France (-25.5%), Italy (-27.9%), the UK (-29.4%) and Spain (-32.3%), roughly replicating the different degrees of gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic’s first wave in each country. Looking at the entire list of European markets, Norway (-0.7%) by far is the best performing, partly due to mass pulled forward registrations of EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 and VW ID.3. Below are Denmark (-12.2%), Lithuania (-12.9%), Finland (-16.1%), Cyprus (-17.7%), Luxembourg (-17.9%) and Sweden (-18%). At the other end of the scale we find Croatia (-42.8%), Bulgaria (-36.8%), Portugal (-35%), Estonia (-29.5%) and Greece (-29%).

Market evolution of Europe’s Top 5 markets. Source: UNRAE

In the groups ranking and according to ACEA data, the VW Group (-21.7%) resists better than the market as opposed to the PSA Group (-30.3%) and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (-26.2%) both losing share year-on-year. The rest of the Top 10 groups bar Ford Motor (-31.7%) and FCA (-26%) all lodge thinner losses than the market. The best performer is the Toyota Group (-13%) followed by the Geely Group/Volvo (-15.6%). The BMW Group (-19.2%), Hyundai-Kia (-21%) and Daimler (-23.8%) also resist relatively well.

Skoda sales are down “just” -11.6% in 2020. Picture

The brands charts remains dominated by Volkswagen (-22.3%) slightly outpacing the the European market evolution. Quite strikingly, the remainder of the Top 9 bar Ford all gain market share thanks to measured drops. Buyers concentrating on the most trusted brands around is a typical trend in times of crisis such as the current pandemic, so this is not really a surprise. Skoda (-11.6%) fares best in the Top 10, followed by Toyota (-11.9%) Mercedes (-18%), BMW (-18.4%), Audi (-18.8%), Renault (-21.9%) and Peugeot (-22.5%). In contrast, Ford (-31.2%) and Opel (-39.3%) struggle. Extending our scope to the Top 40 shows MG (+58%) and Ferrari (+8.1%) as the sole gainers and Porsche (-7.5%), Tesla (-11.6%), DS (-13.3%), Volvo (-15.5%), Lexus (-16%) and Kia (-15.8%) losing the least ground. Among brands hit the hardest this year, we find Smart (-76.4%), Mazda (-40.7%), Subaru (-39%) and Jaguar (-37%).

The Renault Clio ranked #1 three times in 2020.

Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf (-30.7%) remains by far the best-seller across the continent, signing a 13th consecutive annual win and 33 wins in the past 38 years (a series that started in 1983). However the Golf endures a fifth straight year-on-year drop, falling to its weakest European volume potentially since the seventies at just under 285.000. The Renault Clio (-22.1%) slightly outpaces the market and has reduced the gap separating it from the top spot from 91.000 to 36.000 units. Unlike previous years, the Clio actually managed to rank #1 in Europe no less than three times in 2020: in February, May and June. It is the first time in 13 years (since October 2006) that the Clio scores monthly wins. The rest of the Top 10 is completely reshuffled in an increasingly fragmented market. Perennial best-sellers take hard hits in 2020: the VW Tiguan (-32.8%) falls from #3 in 2019 to #8, the VW Polo (-33.1%) from #4 to #10 and the Ford Fiesta (-31.8%) from #5 to #15… Instead, the Peugeot 208 (-11.5%) gains 3 spots to step onto the European podium, something the first generation never managed to achieve. The Opel Corsa (-9.8%) is up 7 ranks to #4 and the Skoda Octavia (-17.9%) is up five to break into the annual Top 5 for the first time at #5. But the biggest leap in the Top 10 is achieved by the Toyota Yaris (-15.3%) up 9 spots to land at a record 6th place in Europe for the year.

The VW ID.3 is #2 in Europe in December.

In December, a last minute rush to register green vehicles in order to meet CO2 emissions targets means the European market is down just -3.8% on an already artificially boosted December 2019 to 1.212.858 units. This is the second largest December tally in the past decade, but it doesn’t mean Europe is out of the covid crisis just yet, with numerous lockdowns still in place across the continent as of January which will be a difficult month. The Toyota Group (+21.4%), VW Group (+8.2%), FCA (+7.5%) and PSA Group (+1.7%) all post year-on-year gains for the month whereas Ford Motor (-23.3%), Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (-15.2%) and Daimler (-14.8%) sink. Brand-wise, Volkswagen (+17.1%) posts the only uptick in the Top 5, joined by Toyota (+25.5%), Skoda (+6.2%) and Fiat (+4.4%) in the Top 10. Below, Opel (+20%) rallies back up and Tesla (+11.2%) breaks into the Top 20 at #19. Model-wise, the new VW ID.3 artificially soars to #2 overall with just under 28.000 sales, expect a harsh hangover in January. Similarly, the Hyundai Kona (+85.8%) is up to a record #11 and the Renault Zoe (+237.9%) up to a record #14.

Previous post: Europe October/November 2020: Recovery cut short with -7.2% and -13.7% respective drops, Toyota Yaris and Peugeot 2008 break ranking records

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

Two years ago: Europe 2018: WLTP transition freezes sales, VW, Peugeot, Dacia and Jeep shine, VW Golf #1, Tiguan #5

Full Year 2020 Top 10 groups, Top 58 brands and Top 430 All-models vs. Full Year 2019 figures below.

Full December 2020 Top 10 groups, Top 58 brands and Top 340 All-models below.

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