In June 2022, new car sales in Europe fell to a record low with even battery electric passenger vehicle registrations weaker.
New passenger vehicle registrations in Europe in June 2022 contracted by 17% to just over a million cars — the lowest June total since 1993. As in previous months, production shortages rather than a lack in demand determined developments in the European new car market. All manufacturers had production issues but some performed noticeably better in June. The Peugeot 208 remained Europe’s favorite car model while the Tesla Model Y was the top-selling battery-electric vehicle.
European New Car Market in June 2022
The contraction of new passenger vehicle registrations in Europe accelerated in June 2022 with the market on a three-decade low largely due to supply rather than demand issues. In June 2022, only 1,054,807 new passenger cars were registered — 17% fewer than the 1,268,508 vehicles registered in June 2021. This marks the worst June sales in Europe since 1993, with a 17% decline.
Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented: “The operating environment is becoming increasingly difficult, and worryingly the few safe havens that previously existed across the industry are now starting to show signs of decline too.”
However, supply rather than demand remained the main brake on new car sales in Europe. All manufacturers are struggling with component shortages with available cars sold and inventories not increasing, while popular models, including electric cars, commanded waiting lists that stretched well over a year for many models.
Car Sales in Europe by Fuel Type in June 2022
SUVs and EVs, drivers of growth over previous months, also posted volume declines in June 2022. Registrations for SUVs fell by 7% when compared to June 2021, marking a year-to-date decline of 4%. However, SUVs gained further market share to a record 49.5% — with SUVs increasingly a marketing term rather than a clearly defined vehicle type, such market share is rather unimportant, other than cars generally becoming bigger and heavier.
Electrified vehicles (EVs) similarly gained market share despite lower volume registrations. A total of 215,000 units were registered in June 2022, down by 8% from the 233,000 units registered a year ago. This is the biggest fall on record for EVs since April 2020, when the worst of the pandemic hit the market. Of the total, pure electric cars accounted for 62%, while 38% were plug-in hybrid electric cars.
The fall in EV registrations impacted Tesla, Volkswagen, Renault, Audi, Skoda, and Ford the most. While Tesla was mainly affected by the halt of production at its plant in China, the brands of Volkswagen Group were forced to stop producing a number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles due to supply issues arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In contrast, BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot, Kia, Fiat, and Cupra recorded growth.
Excluding brands with only BEV and PHEV models available, within its own registrations, Jeep posted the highest market share increase for its EV models – jumping from 30% in June 2021, to 47% last month. It was followed by Jaguar, Mitsubishi, Lexus, and Citroen.
However, the external environment is not impacting all OEMs equally. For instance, In June 2022, Volkswagen Group lost 26% in sales and 3 share points when compared to June 2021, while Renault (including Renault, Dacia, and Alpine) increased its market share from 10% in June 2021, to 12.1% last month. Renault’s volume remained stable with 127,200 units – down by 16% but still the third largest behind the Volkswagen Group and Stellantis.
The Chinese brands, excluding Geely, posted a 93% increase during June – up to 13,800 vehicles – with over 75% of this volume corresponding to MG cars, up by 72%. These Chinese brands outpaced Suzuki’s, JLR’s, Mazda’s, and Honda’s registrations over the same period.
On the other hand, groups such as BMW, Ford, and Geely posted significant decreases, mostly due to their lack of new cars. Similarly, this is why Tesla lost ground, with the brand posting an 11% decline to 22,900 units. However, its overall volume for H1 2022 was up by 27%.
Best-Selling Car and Electric Car Models in Europe in June 2022
There were also significant variances in performance between key car models in Europe during June 2022. While the Peugeot 208 reinforced its leading position as Europe’s favorite car model, increasing its volume by 38%, others such as the Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Yaris, and Renault Clio fell by more than 30% each.
Dacia performed relatively well, with the Duster up by 27%, and the recently introduced Jogger registering 9,400 units. Tesla’s performance was hindered by its Model 3, which posted a 76% decline. However, its Model Y made the top 10 with 16,700 units. Peugeot recorded a 149% increase with the 308, and Kia performed well with the Sportage up by 39%, and EV6 registered almost 2,000 units.
Mercedes was stable with 56,400 units. The drop posted by the A-Class (-19%), E-Class (-11%) and CLA (-22%) were offset by the 2% increase at the C-Class, and the very good results from the GLC, up by 132%. Further down, the new Qashqai helped Nissan to contain the big losses from the rest of the lineup.
Once again, Cupra shone with the volume up by 77% to 15,300 units. The Formentor was Europe’s third best-selling PHEV during the month.
Other big performers included the Toyota Yaris Cross (6th best-selling B-SUV), the Renault Arkana (third best-selling Renault), the Volkswagen Taigo (6th best-selling Volkswagen), and the MG HS (the top-selling MG). Dacia increased the registrations of the Spring by 58%; Ford Ecosport up by 52%; Hyundai Bayon up by 55%.