The European new car market saw 1,063,264 registrations in February – a decline of 7% year-on-year and the lowest February total since 2015.
This is according to the latest data from JATO Dynamics, which suggested that the impact of COVID-19 has yet to hit the European automotive market.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented: “The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Europe due to complex regulation, lack of available homologated cars, and increasing pressure on the economy. All of these factors are having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence.”
EV registrations jumped from 75,400 units in February 2019 to 135,500 units last month. The increase of over 80% came at the expense of diesel and petrol cars which saw significantly fewer registrations.
“So far this year, electrified vehicles have been the only lifeline for manufacturers operating in Europe. This is good news, as the industry’s electrification plans have finally seen a positive response from consumers.”
Furthermore, the volume of EVs more than doubled in Germany and France – their biggest markets. In terms of market share, EVs represented 75% of all passenger cars registrations in Norway, 33% in Sweden, 31% in Finland, 22% in Netherlands and 17% in Hungary. France leads among the big 5 markets, with an EV penetration of 14%, against 13% in the UK, 11% in Germany, 10% in Spain and 8.6% in Italy.
The negative landscape also affected the model ranking. The Volkswagen Golf was dethroned by the Renault Clio as the top-selling car in Europe, as the new generation hit the dealers. This was due to Renault Clio’s new model having been available to the market for a longer period of time. Other changes within the top 10 included the Fiat Panda moving into the 5th position, and SUVs falling from the rankings entirely.
Big improvers for the month included the Fiat 500, BMW 3-Series, Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Kona, BMW 1-Series, Audi A4, Volvo XC40, Citroen C5 Aircross.