Car sales in Europe in September 2021 slumped by a quarter to only 964,800 vehicles. Strong end of the third quarter deliveries by Tesla allowed the Model 3 to become the top-selling car in Europe for the month of September 2021 — the first time ever that a non-European car, or a battery-electric vehicle, was the most popular car in Europe in a calendar month. The VW Golf remained the best-selling car model in Europe despite a sharp contraction in deliveries due to component shortages. SUVs continued to gain market share while diesel sales were down to only 17%
During the first three quarters of 2021, new passenger registrations in the European Union (EU), EFTA, and the UK increased by 6.9% to 9,161,918 cars compared to 8,567,920 cars in 2020. This was still a good 3 million fewer cars than the 12,117,401 registered during the corresponding months in 2019.
However, in September 2021 the market contracted sharply, as new car registrations fell by 25% to just 964,800 units. Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented: “Dealers continue to face issues with the availability of new cars due to the chip shortage. As a result, unwilling to wait more than a year for a new car, many consumers have turned to the used car market.” Or simply keep cars longer, as many European drivers drove significantly less during much of the Covid period.
Year-to-date 2021, Europe’s 26 markets continued to outperform in comparison to 2020, however, the gap has narrowed. By the end of the first half of the year, total registrations were 27% higher than in H1 2020. Results through September show that this gap has narrowed to just 7%. Munoz continued: “This year, the industry has responded well to the pandemic, but it is now facing new supply chain challenges. The growing popularity of EVs is encouraging, but sales are not yet strong enough to offset the big declines seen across other segments.”