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Europe Full Year 2021: Toyota (+10.2%), Hyundai (+21.6%), Kia (+20.6%) can’t help market down -1.5%

Kia sales are up 20.6% in a market off -1.5%.

Discover 50 years of European Historical Data here.

7/02 update: Now with Full Year Top 520 All-models.

27/01 update: Now with December Top 30 models and Full Year 2021 Top 50 models.

New car sales in Europe edge down -1.5% year-on-year in 2021 to 11,774,885 units (EU+EFTA+UK), still a loss of about 183,000 units and -25.5% on the high of pre-pandemic 2019. A persisting microchip crunch impacted December (-21.7%) which tilted the market into negative for the year. Among the Top 5 markets, Italy (+5.5%), Spain (+1%), the UK (+1%) and France (+0.5%) remain in positive whereas Germany (-10.1%) takes a harsh hit. Some countries manage significant gains this year: Iceland (+35.8%), Norway (+24.7%), Croatia (+24.7%), Greece (+24.6%), Estonia (+19.1%) and Ireland (+18.5%) are all into double-digit, while at the other end of the scale Lithuania (-22%), Belgium (-11.2%), the Netherlands (-9.2%) and Denmark (-6.5%) fare poorly. 

Looking at groups, the Volkswagen Group (-3.7%) easily maintains its lead with just under 2.95 million sales, while Stellantis (-1.6%) matches the market to fall to 2.38 million units. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (-12.7%) takes the biggest hit in the Top 7 but manages to remain in third place overall. Hyundai-Kia (+21.1%) is the winner of the year: having built up a stock of semi-conductors at the start of the pandemic, the Korean group is the only one that has truly managed to ignore the microchip crisis. It overtakes the BMW Group (+1.3%) also in positive. Toyota Group (+9.6%) signs a solid gain to climb to #6 ahead of Daimler (-11%) while Ford Motor (-19.2%) is hit the hardest in the Top 10.

The VW Golf has not been challenged that much since 2007.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (-6.2%) remains ultra-dominant but loses almost 85,000 sales compared to last year. Peugeot (-2.3%) resists better yet remains in negative but advances one spot to #2. Toyota (+10.2%) is up four ranks to land on the third step of the podium while BMW (+1.2%) is up one spot also to #4 overall, while Renault (-17.1%) and Mercedes (-12.5%) are hit full frontal. Audi (-0.5%) manages to stay stable and steps up two ranks to #7, overtaking Skoda (-8.5%) and Ford (-19.2%) both in trouble. Hyundai (+21.6%) and Kia (+20.6%) post the largest gains in the Top 20 and climb four spots to #10 and #11 respectively, knocking Fiat (-3.2%) outside the Top 10. Further down, notice also MG (+135.4%), Tesla (+70.3%) and Seat (+6.8%) all in great shape.

In the models ranking, the VW Golf (-27.8%) secures a 14th annual win in a row and 34 wins in the past 39 years (a series that started in 1983) but it falls heavily to just above 205,000 sales, potentially its weakest annual volume since the seventies. Hampered by the lukewarm welcome the 8th generation has received but also by factory closures due to the semi-conductor shortage, the Golf fell to #20 in October, #36 in November and #10 in December. It only ranked #1 three times : in March, May and June. In fact, this year is the most open we have ever seen, with no less than 7 nameplates holding the European monthly top spot at some stage.

The Peugeot 208 ends the year in 2nd place.

The Peugeot 208 (-1%) steps up one spot to #2, the nameplate’s best-ever annual ranking and only 8,500 sales off the pole position. The 208 held the monthly top spot in February and April. In third place the Dacia Sandero (+16.9%) surfs on the success of the new generation and climbs 8 spots to a best-ever third place, even topping the monthly charts in July and August. In 4th place we have the Renault Clio (-21.1%) down two spots to #4 but ranking first in November. The Peugeot 2008 (+24.4%) is up 9 ranks to close out the Top 5 and topped the charts in October, becoming the first SUV to do so. The VW T-Roc (+17.3%) also posts a spectacular performance and advances 6 spots to #6 overall. It distances the Toyota Yaris (+1.5%) which was #1 in January, the first Asian model – albeit made in France – to top  the European charts. The Fiat 500 (+14.2%) is up 8 ranks to #10, the Citroen C3 up 5 to #11 and the Hyundai Tucson (+65%) up 24 to #14. The Tesla Model 3 (+64%) surges 24 spots to #18 and even topped the overall charts in September and December, in line with its traditional end-of-quarter backloading.

Previous month: Europe November 2021: Hyundai, Kia ignore market off -17.5%, Renault Clio #1 in photo finish

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

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

Full December 2021 Top 10 groups, Top 30 brands and Top 30 models below.

Full Year 2021 Top 10 groups, Top 30 brands and Top 50 models vs. Full Year 2020 figures below.

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