Volkswagen Golf lost the position of the best-selling car in Europe several times last year, at the end of the year it was even missing in the top 10. For the whole of 2022, however, it still remained number one in the best-selling cars.
The European new car market in 2021 experienced a turbulent period. After a promising start to the year, the market seemed to be recovering rapidly from the coronavirus pandemic as car registrations rose rapidly. But in the middle of the year, the producers caught up with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, in the form of a shortage of production parts, which subsequently significantly reduced production and reduced sales. As a result, the least cars registered in Europe since 1985 were registered last year.
In 2021, 11.75 million cars were registered in Europe, 1.6% less than a year ago. And even 26% less than in 2019, a year before the coronavirus pandemic. This follows from the statistics of the analytical company JATO Dynamics, which records the number of registrations in 28 European countries, 25 EU countries, supplemented by Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland.
Last year and the year before, even fewer cars were registered in Europe than during the global economic crisis, specifically in 2013, according to JATO Dynamics, 12.31 million cars were registered in Europe.
The decline is related to the fall of the largest European market, Germany, where registrations fell by 27% year on year. Only 2.6 million registered cars are the worst result since 1985. So few cars were last registered in Austria in 1984 and the last time in the Netherlands before 1980.
“Crisis after crisis has had a negative impact on market demand and registration. The continuing uncertainty of the covid-19 pandemic, together with the long-running semiconductor shortage, created a perfect storm for carmakers last year,” explains JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Munoz.
In addition, the situation helped the start of electric cars. Due to fleet emissions, it paid off for manufacturers to provide parts just for them, which had a positive effect on increasing their market share. The result was 2.25 million registered electric cars and plug-in hybrids, which was 19% of the market.
“Most of the year it was easier to buy electric than petrol due to the shorter delivery times for these vehicles and the generous incentives provided by governments,” Munoz said.
Thanks to this, the Tesla Model 3 became the best-selling car in Europe in December, as in September. After 12 months, however, it ranked 17th in terms of models, which is related to the import of this car from the ocean factory to Europe once a quarter. However, its 141,429 registrations were at the level of the Škoda Octavia, which ended with 16,268 registrations. Compared to 2019, even by 35.9%.
The best-selling car in Europe in the whole of 2021 became the Volkswagen Golf. He lost his number one position several times during the year, and in some months he even dropped out of the top 10, as he also dealt with the lack of production parts, which negatively affected his sales. However, it still has a strong position, as Golf remained number one despite a year-on-year decline of 27.9%. He had 205,408 registrations on his account, half of what he had in 2019.
Second place went to the Peugeot 208, followed by Dacia Sandero, which for some months was even the most registered model. With its 196,792 registrations, it surpassed the Renault Clio by 196,243 registrations.