October sees highest EU car registrations in a decade

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European car registrations hit more than 1.2m vehicles last month – marking the highest October volume of the last 10 years.

Peugeot 3008 PHEV

The Peugeot 3008 will be available with two plug-in hybrid drivetrains.

The 8% growth, revealed in Jato figures, was partly the result of a low base of comparison in the same month last year following the introduction of the WLTP cycle. However, increased consumer demand for SUVs and electrified vehicles also helped drive growth. October SUV registrations totalled 484,400 units in Europe, as demand increased by 22% on the same period last year and the segment posted a record market share of 40% – meaning the market is  slowly equalling the USA and China in terms of SUV penetration.

Electrified vehicles also boosted the overall market, with a total of 115,700 units registered during the month – which is 41% more than in October 2018 and saw the fuel type account for almost 10% of all passenger car registrations. Demand increased by 79% for plug-in hybrid cars, 32% for pure electric cars and 29% for hybrid cars. European consumers bought– as the fuel type counted for almost 10% of all passenger car registrations.

In total, 17 of the 27 markets included in Jato analysis posted double-digit growth in October 2019. It was a particularly good month for Germany, where demand increased by 13%.

However, the market is still down 0.8% on the same period last year, with 13,284,600 vehicles registered so far in 2019.

“The European market is facing a myriad of challenges at the moment, but the biggest threats to growth are not having a significant impact on sales – at least for the time being,” said Felipe Munoz, Jato’s global analyst.

Carmakers saw mixed results. The Volkswagen Group posted a 4.4-point market share increase – the highest amongst all automakers – jumping from 20.7% in October 2018 to 25.1% last month. Hyundai-Kia, Toyota, Renault- Nissan, Mazda and Tesla also recorded market share gains, but their combined increase did not exceed 1 point overall.

Other notable results from the brand rankings include Opel/Vauxhall and Fiat falling out of the top 10; Volvo outselling Nissan; Porsche outselling Honda; and Tesla recording a 129% volume increase to 2,093 registrations.

The model rankings saw the Volkswagen Golf occupy the overall top spot, while the Tiguan was the best-selling SUV. Other strong performers included the new Toyota Corolla, Renault Megane (+43%), Hyundai Kona (+37%), Seat Arona (+30%), Renault Kadjar (+58%), Skoda Kodiaq (+181%), Toyota RAV4 (+39%), Audi A4 (+225%), Audi A6 (+50%) and Audi Q2 (+63%).

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.