2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (2024)

In March 2024, new passenger vehicle registrations in Europe (EU, EFTA, UK) contracted by 3% but sales of hybrid electric cars were much stronger while demand for battery electric cars was weak.

2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (1)

New car sales in Europe decreased by 2.7% in March 2024 with persistently high inflation, interest rates, and very high prices restraining demand. Car sales for the first quarter of 2024 were up 4.8% but only two-thirds of European countries registered growth. Volkswagen remained the best-selling car brand in Europe in March 2024 followed by Toyota and BMW. The top-selling car model and battery-electric vehicle in Europe in March 2024 was the Tesla Model Y. The Dacia Sandero, VW Golf, and the Tesla Model Y were the three most popular car models in Europe in the first quarter of 2024.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2024: January, February, March;2023:By Country,Brands,Models,Electric Models.

European New Car Market in 2024 (March & Q1)

In March 2024, new passenger vehicle registrations in Europe decreased by 2.7% to 1,377,541 cars compared to 1,414,815 cars in March 2023. March 2024 was only the second month since January 2023 that new car sales were weaker in Europe. BEV sales were 11% lower.

During the first quarter of 2024, new car sales increased by 4.8% to 3,380,048 vehicles compared to 3,220,806 cars in the first three months of 2023. Only 16 of the 23 European countries monitored by JATO registered sales increases during the first quarter of 2024.

“Although registration figures for the first quarter of 2024 paint a reasonably positive picture, the data for March is concerning,” notes Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics. “The average price of a new car is still prohibitively high, and consumers are understandably hesitant about making the shift from petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles to electric models.”

“Instead of embracing the shift, uncertainty over regulation and a lack of clarity on incentives available for EVs in many European markets is putting off potential buyers. Concerns about the lifecycle of the batteries in these vehicles is another source of concern among consumers.”

Increased Hybrid Car Sales in Europe in March 2024

According to JATO, a drop in consumer confidence in electric vehicles (EVs) has sparked a surge in demand for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), with 382,700 units registered between January and March this year – the highest number of quarterly registrations for the category since 2021. Volumes of HEVs were up 18% on the corresponding quarter in 2023, compared to year-on-year increases of 3.8% for EVs and 4.8% for the overall new car market respectively. This growth is even stronger when compared to the same period in 2022 (+50%). In contrast, the EV market and overall market have grown by 39% and 23% respectively.

“Consumers are familiar with hybrid vehicles; they’ve been in the market for more than two decades now. For many drivers, they are now the best option: cheaper than EVs at point of purchase and not reliant on public charging infrastructure that simply isn’t there in many markets.”

Hybrids were also helped by lower unit prices and many cars only being available as hybrids. JATO Dynamics data for four of the largest European markets shows that the average retail price of a HEV in February 2024 was 11% and 21% lower than that of gasoline (including mild-hybrid electric vehicles, or MHEVs) and diesel-powered vehicles, respectively. Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs) were the most expensive, trading at an average retail price of €74,800.

“Hybrid cars have an advantage over EVs in that they are self-charging, while they are 27% cheaper than an electric model on average. Why would you pay more for a vehicle that is more limited in terms of range and charging?” Munoz asks.

Chinese Brands Car Sales in Europe in March 2024

China’s OEMs lost market share in Europe in March 2024 — registrations of cars manufactured by Chinese car brands totaled 33,000 units (including MG), an increase of just 0.7% on March 2023. Electric models accounted for 36% of this total. In March 2024, electric cars produced by Chinese brands represented 6.1% of total BEV registrations.

According to Munoz, the drop in overall car registrations in March translated to fewer sales for both legacy firms and Chinese OEMs. “China’s OEMs have not been immune to the worsening situation in Europe’s new car market. In addition to this, they may also be feeling the impact of increased negative scrutiny brought on by the European Commission’s investigation into Chinese EV imports.”

MG accounted for more than half (61%) of Chinese EV registrations in March, followed by BYD (24%) and Great Wall (5%). Registrations of MG models in March declined by 38% year on year, while registrations of BYD vehicles rose from 427 units to 2,892 units over the same period.

Top-Selling Car Brands in Europe in March 2024

The following were the 25 best-selling car brands in Europe in March 2024 according to JATO:

2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (2)

Despite weaker sales, Volkswagen remained the largest car brand in Europe by far in March 2024. BMW moved into second place with sales up 9%, a similar improvement as second-place Toyota. Mercedes-Benz sales were flat.

Despite registering the largest loss of any major brand, Tesla led the ranking for BEVs in Europe with 39,000 units registered in March. However, this marked a 36% drop in registrations compared to March 2023, while Tesla’s share of the BEV market dropped from 27.8% in March 2023 to 19.9% last month.

Despite the drop in market share, Tesla was well ahead of other OEMs for BEV registrations, with BMW placing second after recording a 60% year-on-year increase in registrations. Volvo also performed well with a 70% increase in registrations, largely due to the success of the EX30, Europe’s third most registered EV behind the Tesla Model Y and Model 3. The strong results from BMW and Volvo helped offset significant drops not only from Tesla but also from Volkswagen, Renault, and MG.

Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in March 2024

The 25 best-selling car models in Europe in March 2024 according to JATO were:

2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (3)

The Tesla Model Y was the top-selling car model in Europe in March 2024 but for the first quarter, the order was the Sandero, Golf, and Model Y. While Model Y sales were down 42%, Golf sales improved by 43%.

In terms of new models, the Volvo EX30 shone in March with almost 7,600 units registered, making it the brand’s third most popular model behind the XC40 and XC60. Other strong players last month were the Honda ZR-V, registering almost 2,600 units; the Honda E:NY1 with 2,290 units; the BMW i5 with 2,168 units; the Mitsubishi Colt with 1,635 units; and the BMW iX2 with 1,331 units. Lexus registered 1,151 units of its LBX, Kia registered 1,032 units of the EV9, Fiat registered 959 units of the Fiat 500, and Mercedes registered 948 units of the CLE.

Best-Selling PHEV and BEV in Europe in March 2024

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

2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (4)

Despite much weaker sales, the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 remained by far the most popular electric car models in Europe in March 2024. The new Volvo EX30 was the third most popular BEV. Sales of electric BMW cars increased sharply while VW, Peugeot, MG, and Audi had weaker sales for the most popular electric cars.

The Volvo XC60 was the most popular plug-in hybrid model in Europe in March 2024 followed by the Ford Kuga. Sales of the PHEV versions of the Audi A3, BMW X1, and Series 3 were sharply higher.

Europe Car Sales Statistics

Latest European Car Sales Statistics

  • 2024: January, February, March
  • Full-Year 2023:Car Sales by Country,Brands,Top 50 Models,Top 20 Electric Car Models
2024 (March) Europe: Car Sales and Market Analysis (2024)
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