In 2021, the Volkswagen Group was the largest car manufacturer in Europe followed by Stellantis while VW, Peugeot, and Toyota were the best-selling new car brands in Europe.
In full calendar year 2021, the Volkswagen Group remained the best-selling carmaker in Europe despite losing market share with sales contracting more than the broader market. Stellantis was the second largest car manufacturing group in Europe in 2021 followed by Renault and Hyundai. VW was again the best-selling car brand in Europe in 2021 but Peugeot, Toyota, and BMW moved ahead of Renault.
New passenger vehicle registrations in Europe in 2021 were down by 1.5% for a total market weaker than 12 million cars for the second consecutive year. See 2021 (Full Year) Europe: Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country for an overview and analysis of the European new car market.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2021 (Full Year)
The largest carmakers and marques in the European Union and EFTA in 2021 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the ACEA were:
|EU + EFTA + UK||11,774,885||11,958,116||-1.5|
|Jaguar Land Rover Group||149,784||159,423||-6.0|
Largest Carmakers in Europe in 2021 (Full Year)
In 2021, all carmakers struggled with supply-chain issues with especially a lack of semiconductors hampering car production. Several factories had to close down or reduce production. In Wolfsburg, car production was at its lowest volume since the 1940s. Volkswagen claimed to have half a million orders waiting for production in Europe at the start of 2022 and most manufacturers are in a similar position. Many carmakers confirmed that high-profit models and low-emission cars receive preference while components remained in short supply.
In 2021, the Volkswagen Group underperformed the broader market and lost 0.4% market share but still supplied a quarter of all cars sold in Europe in 2021. VW seemed to struggle with production issues all year with the production lines that produce the Tiguan and Golf in Wolfsburg on short shifts for much of the year. Sales of Skoda were also lower while Seat increased sales partly due to the popularity of its Cupra subbrand. High-earning Porsche increased sales as did the prestige brands Bently, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.
Stellantis, the combination of the previous PSA and FCA groups, was the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe in 2021 with a 20.2% market share. Stellanits sales were largely in line with the broader market but leading brands Peugeot and Fiat had lower sales while Opel and Citroen sales were flat.
The Renault Group was the worst-performing top carmaker in Europe with sales down by 11% and market share slipping a full percentage point to 9.3% compared to 2020. Renault sales were down sharply while Dacia sales increased only moderately. Alpine sales almost doubled but the numbers involved were small.
The Hyundai Group increased sales by more than a fifth with both Hyundai and Kia brands performing well. Each brand sold just over half a million cars each in Europe in 2021.
The BMW Group was the best-performing premium brand although sales were largely similar to a year ago. BMW initially seemed to cope better with the semiconductor shortage early in the year but by the final quarter also started to struggle with production shortages.
The Toyota Group improved sales in Europe by almost a tenth — only the Hyundai Group performed better.
Daimler sales were down by 11% with Mercedes-Benz clearly struggling with supply-chain shortages and the decision to produce higher profit cars. Waiting lists for some Mercedes-Benz models are reportedly stretching to well over a year. Smart sales increased by a third but the actual volumes are low — it was only the 30th largest car brand in Europe in 2021.
Ford was the worst-performing large carmaker in Europe in 2021 with sales down by nearly a fifth.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2021 (Full Year)
The 30 top-selling car brands in Europe in 2021 were as follows:
Europe’s Favorite Car Brands in 2021 (Full Year)
In 2021 Volkswagen remained Europe’s largest car brand by far despite underperforming the broader market. Volkswagen had some production issues and the factory in Wolfsburg where the Golf and Tiguan are made produced the lowest car volumes since the 1940s. However, VW claimed to have over half a million orders at the start of 2022.
Renault sales in Europe in 2021 were down 17% forcing the French brand from second to seventh in the rankings. As a result, Peugeot and BMW each moved up one rank position while Toyota leapfrogged from seventh to third. Toyota, the largest carmaker in the world, Japan, and the USA, reached its highest rank position ever in Europe with sales up by 10%.
Mercedes-Benz slipped two positions with sales down 12.5% allowing BMW to claim the title as the best-selling premium brand in Europe (and the world). Audi sales were flat but it sill moved up two rank positions. Other than VW, Skoda was the only top-ten brand in the same position as a year ago, despite weak sales.
Ford was the worst-performing major car brand in Europe in 2021 with sales down by nearly a fifth. Ford slipped from sixth to ninth.
Hyundai entered the top ten closely followed by Kia — both Korean brands increased sales in Europe in 2021 by more than a fifth.
European Car Sales Statistics for 2021 (Full Year)
- 2021 — European New Car Market Overview and Analysis
- 2021 — Car Sales per EU, UK, and EFTA Country
- 2021 — Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands
- 2021 — Top 25 Best-Selling Car Models in Europe
Car Sales Statistics for Europe in 2021
- Car Sales and Market Analysis: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, Full Year 2021
- Top-Selling Car Models: Top 25 Models 2021, Top 15 Electric Models
- Sales per European Country: Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year
- Sales by Brand: Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year
- Electric and PHEV Sales by Country: Q1, Half Year, Q3, Full Year, Top Electric Brands and Models