2022 (October) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis

Car sales in Europe increased by 14% in October 2022 with Volkswagen the best-selling brand and Peugeot 208 top model.

Car sales in Europe increased by 14% in October 2022 with Volkswagen the best-selling brand and Peugeot 208 top model.
© Volkswagen AG

New passenger vehicle registration in Europe expanded by 14% to 900,000 cars in October 2022. Although the third consecutive month of sales increases, the European new car market remained 8% weaker thus far in 2022 compared to the first ten months of 2021. Car sales were driven by a strong recovery by the Volkswagen Group. The Peugeot 208, VW Golf, and Dacia Sandero were the best-selling car models in Europe in October 2022 while the favorite battery-electric cars were the Volkswagen ID.4, ID.3, and Fiat 500.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2022: By Country, Brands, Models, Electric, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, Full Year, 2021 & 2020

Car Sales in Europe in 2022 (October)

Car sales in Europe increased by 14% in October 2022 with Volkswagen the best-selling brand and Peugeot 208 top model.

In October 2022, the European new car market grew by 14% to 903,533 new passenger vehicle registrations. This marks the third consecutive month of growth in 2022 when compared with 2021. Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented: “In October 2021, the market was facing the worst of the semiconductor crisis, but one year on, it has understood the challenge and is learning to deal with it”. However, the market is still below the October sales in 2020 (1.12 million cars) and 2019 (+1.2 million cars).

Positive results seen in August, September, and October have not been enough to offset the losses felt during the first seven months of 2022. The year-to-date volume in 2022 totaled 9.09 million units, down by 8%. When the pandemic hit the European market during January and October in 2020, volume totaled 9.67 million units.

Munoz added: “The impact of the shortage of new cars at dealerships, alongside economic and geopolitical uncertainty, have been more damaging to sales volumes than the lockdowns of 2020. As OEMs adapt to this new reality, consumers are also understanding that they face longer waiting times than they used to for new cars.”

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2022 (October)

The best-selling carmakers by manufacturing group in Europe in October 2022 were as follows:

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in 2022 (October)

October’s growth is partly explained by the strong performance of the Volkswagen Group. The German manufacturing conglomerate registered 230,115 units – a 40% volume increase driven mainly by Audi, Skoda, and Cupra.

This is, however, considerably lower than the 281,700 units registered in October 2020, and the 302,000 (approximate) units registered in October 2019. VW has been hit hard by the shortage of computer chips with the main factory in Wolfsburg reportedly working only at half capacity despite full order books.

Toyota also performed well in Europe in October 2022 with sales up by 47%, outpacing results from 2019 and 2020 thanks to the success of its latest launches. Lexus saw its volume decline by 14%. Ford increased registrations by 35% thanks to the Puma and Fiesta but was unable to match volumes from 2019 and 2020, at 77,600 and 60,600 units respectively.

October 2022 was a record month for MG as the Chinese manufacturer registered more than 12,000 new vehicles. In the same month last year, volume totaled 4,800 units and just over 2,900 units in 2020. Munoz continued: “This success is explained by the introduction of more appealing products, particularly their electrified range, at competitive prices. MG is proving that with the right offering, Chinese manufacturers can succeed in Europe.”

Electric Car Sales in Europe in 2022 (October)

In October 2022, electric cars (EVs, including BEV and PHEV) made up 23% of the total volume. Despite a volume increase of 15%, the market share for these vehicles remained the same as in October 2021. BEV registrations totaled 119,600 units, up by 15%, while PHEVs registrations totaled 88,200 units, up by 13%. Year-to-date, BEV demand increased by 24% to reach 1,103,055 units.

Volkswagen brand led the market in October with a 12.7% market share – this figure rises to 25% with the inclusion of other brands under the Volkswagen Group umbrella.

Renault brand followed thanks to the success of the Megane E-Tech, while demand for the Zoe declined. BMW’s volume soared by 111%, with growth driven by the i4 and iX, making it the third most popular EV brand with a 7.1% market share.

Tesla doubled sales in October 2022 but volumes were very low as is customary for Tesla in October (and many first months of each quarter).

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2022 (October)

Top ten best selling car models and electric car sales in Europe in October 2022

Despite losing momentum in recent months, the Peugeot 208 has returned to the top spot in both the monthly and year-to-date model ranking – significantly ahead of the Dacia Sandero in second place. The 208 is likely to dethrone the Golf as Europe’s best-selling car by the end of this year despite Golf sales almost doubling in October 2022.

Favorite Electric Models

The BEV ranking was led by two Volkswagen models – the ID.4 and the ID.3. Sales of the former continued to increase because of its key market position as a midsize electric SUV. In contrast, registrations of the ID.3 declined by 3% in October, and by 41% to 34,320 units year-to-date. VW announced an update for the ID.3 but as the current version has already sold out for many months, the facelifted version will only be on the market late in 2023.

At third position in the BEV ranking was the Fiat 500, maintaining its position as the most popular electric car since January, excluding Tesla’s models, which were absent from the top-ten list in October. The Renault Megane E-Tech became the fifth most popular EV in Europe, outselling rivals such as the Cupra Born and Nissan Leaf by a significant margin.

Polestar entered the top 10 due to a strong performance from the Polestar 2 – the best-selling premium EV in October, ahead of the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. Notably, the latter became the most popular electric BMW.

Europe Car Sales Statistics for 2022

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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.