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Europe March 2021: Peugeot (+141.3%), Fiat (+185.2%), Citroen (+161.7%) headline market back up 62.7%

The Peugeot 208 is #1 in Europe over Q1 2021.

07/05 update: Now with Top 58 brands and Top 340 models.

03/05 update: Now with Top 100 models.

30/04 update: Now with Top 10 models.

Preliminary figures from ACEA show a European new car market (EU+EFTA+UK) rallying back up 62.7% year-on-year to 1.387.924 units, tilting the Q1 2021 tally into positive at +0.9% to 3.080.751. This surge is due to the particularly low comparison base in March 2020 when Covid-19 lockdowns handicapped sales and it’s worth noting that March 2021 volumes are down -21.6% on March 2019. When excluding 2020, this is the lowest March volume since 2013 and the lowest Q1 result since 1986. Among the five largest European markets, Italy (+495.7%), France (+191.7%) and Spain (+128%) post the most spectacular recoveries, followed by Germany (+35.9%) and the UK (+11.5%). Austria (+177.1%), Slovenia (+157.6%) and Greece (+140%) also impress. Over Q1, Italy (+28.7%) and France (+21.1%) are in positive, with March increases compensate for losses in January and February. That’s not the case for Spain (-14.9%), the UK (-12%) and Germany (-6.4%) still in negative for now.

We have a very peculiar situation in the groups ranking where all groups bar Stellantis grow slower than the overall market. This is explained by the particularly low year-ago volumes in Italy and France and therefore the biggest year-on-year gains this month. Below the VW Group (+45.9%), Stellantis shoots up 140.9% to 21% share vs. 14.2% a year ago… Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (+54.4%) follows in third place while the BMW Group (+42.6%) is up one spot on February, overtaking Hyundai-Kia (+46.8%). Daimler AG (+58%) is back above the Toyota Group (+55.3%) with Ford Motor (+59.2%) closing the Top 8. Jaguar Land Rover (+25.8%) takes advantage of large volumes in the UK to appear in 10th place.

Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+47.7%) leads the way but trails the market growth rate unlike Peugeot (+141.3%) cementing its newfound 2nd place thanks to a volume helped by the strong recoveries of the French and Italian markets. Mercedes (+50.3%) is up four spots on February to land on the third step of the podium ahead of BMW (+45.6%) up two to #4 and Toyota (+56.8%) down two to #5. Renault (+71.8%) edges down two spots to #6 but outpaces the market, distancing Audi (+40.9%), Ford (+56.5%) and Skoda (+38%). Opel/Vauxhall (+89.9%) is back inside the Top 10 at #10 just above Citroen (+161.7%) and Fiat (+185.2%) also benefitting from the French and Italian surges.

In the models ranking, the VW Golf (+10.6%) manages its first win of the year but it’s the Peugeot 208 (+168.6%) that tops the Q1 2021 charts. The VW Tiguan (+77.8%) is feeling the effect of its facelift at #3 overall. For its part the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa (+108.1%) takes advantage of its strong position in the UK to leap up 5 spots to #4 overall and #2 in its segment well above the Citroen C3 (+218.8%) and Renault Clio (+58.7%). Outstanding 5th place for the Tesla Model 3 (+53.2%), it’s not as high as the 2nd spot it hit one year ago in March 2020 but still a fantastic performance nonetheless. The Peugeot 2008 (+269.9%), VW T-Roc (+94.2%) and Toyota Yaris (+87.3%) also beat the market in the remainder of the Top 10.

Previous month: Europe February 2021: Volumes down -20.3%, Peugeot places 208 at #1 and 2008 at #2

One year ago: Europe March 2020: Market collapses -51.9%, Tesla Model 3 up to 2nd place overall

Full March 2021 Top 10 groups, Top 58 brands and Top 340 models below.

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