2024 (April) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis

April 2024: the European new car market expanded by 13% but the growth in battery-electric car, PHEV, and SUV sales in Europe was slower than in recent months.

April 2024: the European new car market expanded by 13% but the growth in electric car and SUV sales in Europe was slower than in recent months.
VW Golf GTI Clubsport © Volkswagen AG

Car sales in Europe (European Union, EFTA, and UK) increased by 12.6% in April 2024 to just over a million vehicles. Battery-electric vehicle sales increased by 15% for a market share of 13.4% — a small increase but well below the growth of recent months. SUVs remained by far the most popular vehicle type in Europe although its share of the overall European new car market was marginally lower. Volkswagen, Toyota, and BMW were the top-selling car brands in Europe in April 2024. The Dacia Sandero and VW Golf were Europe’s best-selling car models, while the Tesla Model Y was again the favorite electric car model despite weaker sales.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2024: January, February, March, April; 2023: By CountryBrandsModelsElectric Models.

European New Car Market in 2024 (April)

New passenger vehicle registrations in Europe (EU, EFTA, UK) in April 2024 increased by 12.6% to 1,080,517 cars compared to 960,000 vehicles in April 2023. According to JATO Dynamics, the market growth was mainly driven by demand for B-hatchbacks and compact cars.

During the first four months of 2024, the European new car market expanded by 6.7% to 4,461,734 cars.

Electric Car Sales in Europe in April 2024

In recent months, battery-electric vehicles, SUVs, and Chinese cars were the main drivers of growth in the European new car market but in April 2024, the market share of electric cars increased by only 0.3% to 13.4%. Although electric car sales still outperformed the broader market, BEV sales increased only by 15%.

Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at Jato Dynamics, commented: “The electric car market is not performing as well as it was this time last year. This is largely due to the ongoing price cuts which has raised concerns among consumers over the residual value of EVs and uncertainty as to how prices will evolve in the coming months.”

Top-Selling BEV and PHEV in Europe in April 2024

The best-selling BEV and PHEV in Europe in April 2024 according to JATO were:

Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models in Europe in 2024 (April)

Volkswagen dominated the BEV market in April, despite recording a 7% decline in volumes compared to April 2023. Tesla followed closely with a 0.6% growth in registrations, with the Model Y maintaining first place in the ranking for BEV models.

However, BMW was the main driver of growth in BEV sales in Europe in April 2024 with registrations of its electric models soaring 82% year on year. BMW registered 14,179 electric car sales in April 2024 – just 28 units fewer than Tesla. Volvo also performed well with 13,275 units registered, marking a 141% increase from April 2023. This was largely due to strong demand for the Volvo EX30, Europe’s second-best-selling BEV during the month.

In April 2024, BYD registered 2,746 units, outpacing established brands such as Cupra, Nissan, and Toyota to become the 15th best-selling brand in the BEV rankings.

OEMs that saw a decline in registrations of electric models in Europe in April 2024 included Opel /Vauxhall (-37%), Polestar (-26%), Skoda (-13%), MG (-12%), and VW (-7%).

Best-Selling Car Brands in Europe in April 2024

The 25 best-selling car brands in Europe in April 2024 according to JATO were:

The four largest car brands in Europe all outperformed the broader market with Toyota and BMW increasing sales particularly well. Audi and Peugeot were the only two top-ten brands with weaker sales in April 2024.

SUV and Chinese Brand Sales in Europe in April

Despite the success experienced by BYD in April, Chinese-made cars are yet to become a major force in Europe. The overall market share of Chinese car brands in Europe rose from 2.22% in April 2023 to 2.35%. MG accounted for 68% of the 25,360 total units registered by Chinese brands in April 2024.

Munoz noted: “Although there is lots of noise around the arrival of Chinese car brands in Europe, they are still something of a rarity – evidenced by the slow uptick in registrations over the past year. MG, a brand that many still associate with the West accounted for two in three registrations of Chinese-made vehicles.”

“The continued inability of Chinese-made vehicles to truly penetrate Europe’s automotive market could be a result of the ongoing perception issues that Chinese OEMs face, particularly in light of negative attention from the European Commission’s investigation. However, Chinese-made cars continue to prosper in the BEV market with a market share of 6.6%,” Munoz added.

The market share of SUVs dropped from 51.3% in April 2023 to 51.1% in April 2024. SUV registrations only increased by 12% year on year, lagging the growth of the overall market over the same period. While SUVs continue to be the vehicle of choice for many European consumers, the data for April indicates that the market share of the category could likely be reaching its peak in the near future.

Within the SUV segment, Audi, Ford, Kia, Renault, and Skoda struggled in April, whereas BMW, Hyundai, Mercedes, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all gained market share.

Top 25 Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in April 2024

The 25 most popular cars in Europe in April 2024 according to JATO were:

The Dacia Sander was again the best-selling car in Europe in April 2024 and is leading year-to-date with 97,658 sales (+24%). The VW Golf continued the recovery of sales to take second place in April and over the first four months with 86,002 sales (+53%).

The Tesla Model Y dropped out of the top 25 ranks with sales in Europe of only 9,646 cars in April and 67,501 (-18%) year to date.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2024: January, February, March, April; 2023: By CountryBrandsModelsElectric Models.

Europe Car Sales Statistics

→  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.