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Europe September 2021: Tesla Model 3 best-seller in market down -25.2%

The Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling vehicle in Europe in September.

4/11 update: Now with Top 63 All-brands ranking.

28/10 update: Now with Top 404 All-models ranking.

26/10 update: Now with Top 50 models.

Provisional data from ACEA shows a European market accelerating its fall in September at -25.2% year-on-year to just 972.723 units (EU+UK+EFTA), compared to a -18.1% drop in August. That’s over 325.000 units less than September 2020. The year-to-date volume is now up 6.9% on the same period in 2020 at 9.161.918 units but down -24.4% over the first nine months of pre-pandemic 2019. All big 5 markets fall heavily, with Spain (-15.7%) faring the “best” ahead of France (-20.5%), Germany (-25.7%), Italy (-32.7%) and the UK (-34.4%). Looking at the other, smaller markets, four of them swim upstream and manage a year-on-year lift: Cyprus (+18.1%), Norway (+15.7%), Iceland (+15.3%) and Estonia (+8.2%) with Greece (-7%), Slovenia (-7%), Switzerland (-8.4%) and Slovakia (-8.7%) containing their fall to the single digits. At the other end of the scale, Lithuania (-56.8%), Luxembourg (-27.6%) and Belgium (-26.4%) all struggle.

In the groups ranking, the VW Group (-29.7%), Stellantis (-30.4%) and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (-26.9%) all fall faster than the market and reduce their footprint. In contrast, Hyundai-Kia gains 6.9% to remain in 4th place above the BMW Group (-24.4%) and Toyota Group (-18%) resisting relatively well. Daimler (-48.1%) and Ford Motor (-46.7%) both implode. At the tail end of the Top 10, Tesla (+81.1%) breaks its volume record at an estimated 34.000 and Suzuki (-11%) contains its drop.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (-28.6%) remains unreachable on top while Toyota (-20.5%) threepeats at a record 2nd place and in the year-to-date charts is getting closer to Peugeot (-36.3%) down to #7 for the month. Renault (-30.3%) rallies back up three spots on August to #3 ahead of BMW (-16.8%) resisting well and down one rank on last month to #4. After Hyundai cracked the European Top 5 for the first time last month, it is now the turn of sister brand Kia (+10.7%) up four spots on August to #5 overall. Hyundai (+5.4%) is the only additional Top 14 brand in positive and ranks 6th for the month. Mercedes (-50.2%), Ford (-46.7%) and Audi (-31.4%) are all in difficulty in the remainder of the Top 10. As we saw above, Tesla (+79.1%) has a record month while MG (+94.8%) and DS (+8.5%) also impress further down.

We have an earthquake in the models ranking: as we predicted earlier in the month, the Tesla Model 3 (+55.8%) is the best-selling vehicle in Europe, ranking #1 in the UK and a close #2 to the VW Golf in Germany. In a sign of things to come, this is the first time a BEV tops the European charts but also the first time a model produced outside of Europe ranks #1. A caveat to this staggering performance is Tesla’s habit of very heavily backloading their sales towards end-of-quarter months, and it is the case even more this time with September accounting for 74% of the carmaker’s third quarter sales… For comparison, the Model 3 sold 636 units across Europe in July (#200), 7.827 in August (#18) and 24.591 in September (#1), or an average of 11.018 per month for the third quarter, a more realistic figure that would place it #17 in September.

The Renault Clio (-16.9%) rallies back up 9 spots on August to land in 2nd place for the month ahead of the Dacia Sandero (-8.9%) down two to #3 and outselling the VW Golf (-39.1%) for the third straight month. The Opel Corsa (-41%) is back up 18 ranks to #5, distancing the Fiat 500 (-14.3%), Peugeot 2008 (-16.9%) and Hyundai Tucson (+40%) notching a third consecutive and ever Top 10 finish at #8. The Peugeot 208 (-31.5%) and Renault Captur (-36.3%) round out the Top 10. Notice also the BMW 3 Series up 23.6% to be #16, the Opel Mokka up 20 spots on last month to #22, the BMW X3 up 29.1% to #27 and the Tesla Model Y up 48 ranks to #28.

Previous month: Europe August 2021: Toyota at #2, Hyundai at #5, market off -18.1%, Sandero repeats at #1

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

Full September 2021 Top 10 groups, Top 63 All-brands and Top 404 All-models below.

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