2021 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Brands

2021 (Q1): Volkswagen remained the top-selling car brand in Europe but the VW Group brands lost market share to Stellantis (Peugeot and Fiat).

2021 (Q1): Volkswagen remained the top-selling car brand in Europe but the VW Group brands lost market share to Stellantis (Peugeot and Fiat).

In the first quarter of 2021, Volkswagen and the VW Group were again the largest brand and car manufacturing group in Europe but in a flat market lost market share to Stellantis that had strong growth with Peugeot, Citroen, and Fiat. Renault and Mercedes-Benz had weaker sales in Europe while BMW and Toyota made gains. Smart recovered strongly.

New passenger vehicle registration in the European Union, EFTA, and the UK increased by 0.9% to 3,080,751 cars during the first quarter of 2021.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2021: January, February, March, Q1, April, May, June, HY, July, August, September, Q3, October, November, December, Full Year — 2020: Q1, HY, Q3, Full Year

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Europe in 2021 (Q1)

The top-selling carmakers in the European Union (EU), EFTA, and the UK during the first quarter of 2021 were as follows according to the ACEA:

Q1/2021Q1/2020% 20/21
EU + UK + EFTA3,080,7513,054,0350.9
VW Group771,865802,748-3.8
– VOLKSWAGEN331,355353,056-6.1
– SKODA162,604164,030-0.9
– AUDI155,531160,819-3.3
– SEAT102,728107,255-4.2
– PORSCHE18,29616,117+13.5
– OTHERS1,3511,471-8.2
STELLANTIS Group669,676623,447+7.4
– PEUGEOT215,470186,173+15.7
– OPEL/VAUXHALL132,862134,334-1.1
– FIAT128,993121,952+5.8
– CITROEN126,866119,865+5.8
– JEEP35,03026,320+33.1
– LANCIA/CHRYSLER13,01312,725+2.3
– DS9,89613,083-24.4
– ALFA ROMEO6,5098,167-20.3
– OTHERS1,037828+25.2
RENAULT Group260,219268,329-3.0
– RENAULT170,612184,330-7.4
– DACIA88,91383,180+6.9
– ALPINE371255+45.5
– LADA323564-42.7
BMW Group226,567216,976+4.4
– BMW182,401174,566+4.5
– MINI44,16642,410+4.1
HYUNDAI Group221,860222,022-0.1
– KIA113,812113,026+0.7
– HYUNDAI108,048108,996-0.9
TOYOTA Group194,815185,182+5.2
– TOYOTA183,069171,811+6.6
– LEXUS11,74613,371-12.2
DAIMLER Group189,926204,961-7.3
– MERCEDES180,928201,303-10.1
– SMART8,9983,658+146.0
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group47,09150,350-6.5
– LAND ROVER36,76335,708+3.0
– JAGUAR10,32814,642-29.5
Source: ACEA

The VW Group remained Europe’s largest carmaker during the first quarter of 2021 but the group lost 1.3% market share. With the exception of Porsche, all the brands in the VW Group had weaker sales in Europe thus far in 2021.

In contrast, the larger brands in the new Stellantis Group (PSA and FCA) had stronger sales with Peugeot sales up by 16%, while Fiat and Citroen sales increased by 6%, and Opel only moderately weaker. Jeep sales were up by a third. Stellantis gained 1.3% market share with its brands helped by stronger sales in both Italy and France while the German and UK car markets, which are both very important to VW, had weaker sales.

The Renault Group underperformed with sales of Renault brand weaker while Dacia sales were higher.

The BMW Group made gains with both BMW and Mini brands selling stronger. Toyota also made gains. Hyundai Group sales were flat.

The Daimler Group had weaker sales but Smart was the top performer with sales up 146%. However, the sales volume remained low and without new models, Smart was unable to really take advantage of the increased popularity of electric cars.

Top-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2021 (Q1)

The 20 top-selling car marques in the European Union (EU), EFTA, and the UK during the first quarter of 2021 were as follows according to the ACEA:

BRANDSQ1/2021Q1/2020% 20/21
15SEAT 2102,728107,255-4.2
20LAND ROVER36,76335,708+3.0

Top-Ten Car Brands in Europe in 2021 (Q1)

Volkswagen easily remained the best-selling car brand in Europe despite losing almost a percentage market share during the first quarter of 2021. Volkswagen sales were hurt by weakness in both the German and British new car markets.

Peugeot gained most of the market share Volkswagen lost with Peugeot helped by strong growth in the French and Italian new car markets. Peugeot was by far the strongest performer amongst the top ten largest new car brands in Europe. The Peugeot 208 also became the top-selling car model in Europe in 2021.

Toyota and BMW made strong gains while Mercedes and Renault both had weaker sales and lost market share. A year ago, Renault was only 2,000 cars behind Peugeot.

Skoda, Ford, Audi, and Opel / Vauxhall all had slightly weaker sales in Europe but remained in the top-ten list.

See also 2021 (Q1) Europe: New Car Sales Per EU, UK, and EFTA Country.

Car Sales Statistics for Europe in 2021

→  Latest European Car Sales Statistics

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.