2020 (Q1-Q3): The Volkswagen Group was the largest carmaker in Europe with Volkswagen the best-selling car brand and the VW Golf the top-selling car model.
January to September 2020: The Volkswagen Group gained market share in a contracting market to once again supply just over a quarter of all new cars registered in the European Union, EFTA, and the UK. The PSA and Renault Groups lost market share. Toyota was the most-improved carmaker while BMW, Mercedes, and Audi gained market share too. All brands had weaker sales with the small Porsche and DS brands the top performers. In 2020 (Q1-Q3), the European new car market contracted by 29% to 8,567,920 cars.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands in Europe in 2020 (Q1-Q3)
The top-selling car manufacturing groups and largest car brands in Europe were as follows according to passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA:
|Q1-Q3/2020||Q1-3/2019||% Change 19/20|
|EU + EFTA + UK||8,567,920||12,117,401||-29.3|
|– ALFA ROMEO||24,493||41,377||-40.8|
|JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group||115,470||177,963||-35.1|
|– LAND ROVER||82,682||116,741||-29.2|
|SOURCE: ACEA MEMBERS|
|2 Includes Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti|
|3 Includes Dodge and Maserati|
Note: statistics include only ACEA member sales.
Top-Selling Car Makers in Europe in 2020 (Q1-Q3)
During the first nine months of 2020, all car manufacturers and brands in Europe had weaker sales than during the first three quarters of 2019. The pain was widely shared.
The Volkswagen Group remained Europe’s largest car manufacturer and increased market share to once again just more than a quarter of the total new car market in Europe for the first three quarters of 2020. Porsche was the top-performing car brand in Europe thus far this year and the only brand to lose less than 10% sales but volume is fairly low. Skoda performed relatively strongly too.
The PSA Group was again the second-largest carmaker in Europe in 2020 despite being the weakest performer of the top groups. DS was after Porsche the best-performing brand in Europe but contributed little in volume. Peugeot narrowly outperformed the market but Citroen sales were weaker and Opel with sales halved was the worst-performing major car brand in Europe in 2020.
The Renault Group also struggled with Renault branded sales better than the market average but Dacia sales weak and the small Lada and Alpine brands amongst the worst performers in Europe thus far in 2020. Alpine’s future seemed assured though, as it is due to become the group’s sports brand.
The Hyundai Groups gained market share in Europe thus far in 2020 with Kia performing particularly well.
The BMW Group performed even better with both BMW and Mini brands outperforming the European market.
The Daimler Group similarly performed well with the Mercedes-Benz brand gaining 0.6% market share. In contrast, Smart was the worst-performing brand overall with sales down 81%. Smart went electric-only in 2020 but found itself without stock just when electric cars were in high demand in European markets. New models in cooperation with Chinese partners are not due until 2021.
The Toyota Group was the best-performing carmaker in Europe during the first three quarters of 2020. It was the only group with sales down by less than a fifth. Both Toyota and Lexus brands performed well.
The FCA Group had sales down by more than a third with all its brand performing below market average. Ford similarly had weak sales in Europe in 2020.
Volvo had a strong performance with sales down by only a fifth. Volvo was helped by the Scandinavian countries being amongst the best-performing markets in Europe thus far in 2020.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2020 (Q1-Q3)
The ten best-selling car models in Europe during the first nine months of 2020 were:
|BRAND||Q1-Q3/2020||Q1-3/2019||% Change 19/20|
Top-Ten Car Brands in Europe
Volkswagen, Renault, and Peugeot remained the three top-selling car brands in Europe during the first three quarters of 2020. VW lost 0.1% market share while the French brands gained similar numbers.
Mercedes-Benz moved up two positions to fourth at the expense of Ford. Ford was the second worst-performing top-ten car brand in Europe despite the Focus and new Kuga being well received.
BMW moved up one rank position and like Mercedes gained half a percentage market share. German premium brands often outperform the broader market when overall sales are weak. Audi similarly outperformed the market.
Toyota was the most-improved brand in Europe in 2020 with sales down by 18% and increasing in rank position from tenth to seventh. Skoda also sold well but remained in the same position as a year ago, as did Audi but the gap to Skoda increased.
Opel / Vauxhall was the worst-performing top ten brand in Europe in 2020. Sales nearly halved and the brand slipped from fifth-largest to only tenth. The future of Opel in the PSA Group seemed assured but the emphasis in future may be on profitability rather than volume.
European New Car Market in 2020
Sales and Market Analysis:
- March – by country, by brand, electric cars
- April – by country
- May – by country
- June – by country, by brand, by fuel type, CO2 targets, forecast for full-year 2020
- September – by country, by brand