Sales of New Cars in Europe grew 1.13% in September 2020

Jiří Staník
November 09, 2020

Sales of new cars increased by 14.6 thousand in September compared to last year

In the first nine months of the year, the decline reached 29.3% yoy

Romania performed relatively the best (up 79.9% yoy) while sales in Bulgaria showed the weakest change compared to the last year (down 27.7% yoy)

Sales of new passenger cars reached 1,300 thousand in September 2020 in the enlarged Europe (EU plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), according to ACEA. This is 1.13%, or 14.6 thousand more than in the previous year. In the first nine months of 2020, some 8,569 thousand cars were sold in Europe, down 29.3% yoy.

In September 2020, the EU passenger car market registered the first increase of the year. Registrations grew by 3.1% last month to reach 933,987 new cars sold across the EU. The four largest markets, however, posted mixed results. Losses were seen in Spain (-13.5%) and France (-3.0%), while Italy (+9.5%) and Germany (+8.4%) showed solid gains.

Historically, between 1990 and 2020, sales of passenger cars in Europe reached a high of 1,937 thousand in March 2017 and a low of 292 thousand in April 2020.

Sales by Country

In September, most vehicles (328 thousand) were sold in the United Kingdom (down 4.43% yoy), followed by Germany (265 thousand, up 8.42%), France with 168 thousand cars (down 2.97%), 156 thousand new vehicles were registered in Italy (up 9.85%) and 70.7 thousand in Spain (down 13.5%). The five largest countries accounted for 70.6% of total new vehicles registered in September 2020.

In absolute terms, the best performance in sales of new cars has been seen in Germany (up 20.6 thousand cars) and Italy (up 14.0 thousand cars). At the other end of the scale, the United Kingdom and Spain showed the biggest drop in registration of new cars in September when compared to last year (down 15.2 thousand and down 11.0 thousand cars, respectively).

In relative terms, sales in Romania (+79.9%) and Ireland (+65.8%) performed the best compared to a year ago, whereas registration in Bulgaria and Netherlands the worst (-27.7% and -22.8% yoy), in September 2020, according to ACEA:

In the first nine months of the year, some 8,569 thousand cars were sold in Europe, down 29.3% yoy. The table below shows details of the sales for each of the European country:

Sales of new passenger cars in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country September 2020 September 2019 YOY Change % 1-9/2020 1-9/2019 YOY Change %
Austria 22.2 21.0 5.30 181 258 -30.1
Belgium 36.1 35.7 1.02 334 439 -24.1
Bulgaria 1.82 2.52 -27.7 17.0 26.9 -36.6
Croatia 3.10 3.55 -12.8 28.2 51.4 -45.0
Cyprus 0.908 0.993 -8.56 7.61 9.50 -19.9
Czech Republic 16.9 15.8 7.22 148 191 -22.4
Denmark 17.2 16.0 7.54 142 174 -18.2
Estonia 1.64 1.73 -4.75 14.2 20.6 -30.9
Finland 8.42 8.44 -0.142 73.4 87.9 -16.5
France 168 173 -2.97 1,167 1,641 -28.9
Germany 265 245 8.42 2,042 2,740 -25.5
Greece 7.11 5.90 20.5 60.0 92.8 -35.3
Hungary 11.4 9.66 18.6 90.1 115 -21.7
Iceland 1.01 0.715 41.8 7.27 9.84 -26.1
Ireland 5.67 3.42 65.8 86.1 114 -24.5
Italy 156 142 9.85 965 1,464 -34.1
Latvia 1.23 1.28 -4.21 10.4 14.1 -26.2
Lithuania 4.68 4.01 16.9 28.3 34.7 -18.7
Luxembourg 4.07 3.31 23.1 34.0 43.0 -20.9
Netherlands 29.4 38.1 -22.8 250 335 -25.4
Norway 15.6 11.2 39.4 95.4 111 -13.8
Poland 38.1 35.3 7.99 295 411 -28.2
Portugal 13.2 14.6 -9.42 106 174 -39.3
Romania 10.9 6.05 79.9 84.6 124 -31.8
Slovakia 6.35 4.85 31.0 55.6 69.3 -19.8
Slovenia 4.44 5.21 -14.8 43.0 55.7 -22.7
Spain 70.7 81.8 -13.5 595 965 -38.3
Sweden 28.7 26.8 7.33 203 248 -18.2
Switzerland 21.5 24.2 -11.4 164 226 -27.7
United Kingdom 328 343 -4.43 1,244 1,862 -33.2
EU + EFTA 1,300 1,285 1.13 8,569 12,116 -29.3
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales by Manufacturers

Volkswagen Group sold the most cars in September 2020 in Europe, some 295 thousand vehicles representing 22.7% of the European market. Sales of PSA Group amounted to 179 thousand vehicles (or 13.8% of the market) while Renault Group and Hyundai Group held 9.80% and 7.80% of the European market in September. Overall, the five largest manufacturers sold 61.1% of all new cars in September:

Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group sold 295 thousand new passenger cars representing a 22.7% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 17.8% more vehicles and a 3.21 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Looking back three years, VW's market share was 22.8%.

The Group sold 126 thousand of Volkswagen brand cars in September, followed by 65.0 thousand of Skodas and 61.3 thousand of Audis. Seat sold 36.8 thousand vehicles and Porsche some 5.58 thousand cars in September 2020:

PSA Group

PSA Group sold 179 thousand new passenger cars representing a 13.8% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 14.1% fewer vehicles and a 2.45 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, the market share three years ago stood at 14.9% and is down by 1.14 pp now.

The Group sold 76.1 thousand of Peugeots cars, followed by 55.2 thousand of Opels and 44.7 thousand of Citroens in September 2020:

BMW Group

BMW Group sold 90.4 thousand new passenger cars representing a 6.96% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 11.9% fewer vehicles and a 1.03 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. Compared to three years ago, BMW Group's market share is now 0.680 pp lower.

The group sold 68.6 thousand of BMW brand cars, followed by 21.8 thousand of Minis in September 2020:

Hyundai Group

Hyundai Group sold 101 thousand new passenger cars representing a 7.79% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 2.24% more vehicles and a 0.084 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Compared to three years ago, Hyundai Group's market share is now 1.07 pp higher.

The group sold 51.9 thousand of Kia brand cars, followed by 49.4 thousand of Hyundais in September 2020:

Renault Group

Renault Group sold 128 thousand new passenger cars representing a 9.83% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 8.67% more vehicles and a 0.682 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago, Renault Group's market share was 8.95%.

The group sold 84.0 thousand of Renault brand cars in September, followed by 43.6 thousand of Dacias and 0.067 thousand of Ladas:

FCA Group

FCA Group sold 77.8 thousand new passenger cars representing a 5.98% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 12.2% more vehicles and a 0.591 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago FCA Group's market share stood at 6.13%.

The group sold 53.9 thousand of Fiat brand cars in September, followed by 14.8 thousand of Jeeps and 4.09 thousand of Alfa-Romeos:

Toyota Group

Toyota Group sold 79.5 thousand new passenger cars representing a 6.12% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 9.11% more vehicles and a 0.447 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Toyota Group's market share three years ago, by comparison, stood at 4.78%.

The group sold 73.0 thousand of Toyota brand cars in September, with Lexus following at 6.51 thousand cars:

Jaguar Land Rover Group

Jaguar Land Rover Group sold 22.9 thousand new passenger cars representing a 1.76% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 12.5% fewer vehicles and a 0.274 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. Three years ago however, the market share of Jaguar Land Rover Group was 1.98%.

The group sold 16.9 thousand of Land Rovers in September, followed by 6.00 thousand of Jaguars:

Daimler Group

Daimler Group sold 88.3 thousand new passenger cars representing a 6.79% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in September 2020. This is 5.83% fewer vehicles and a 0.502 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago, Daimler Group's market share was 6.93%.

The group sold 85.3 thousand of Mercedes in September, followed by 3.03 thousand of Smart cars:

Overview of the Automotive Market

Based on a comparison of 138 countries, China ranked the highest with 21,444 thousand passenger cars sold in 2019 followed by the USA and Japan. Total sales of passenger cars reached 64,342 thousand in 2019 in the world, according to ACEA. This is 6.33% less than in the previous year and 29.6% more than 10 years ago. Historically, total sales of passenger cars reached an all time high of 70,695 thousand in 2017 and an all time low of 11,000 thousand in 1961. The average annual growth stands at 2.75% since 1960.

The top ranked country, China, accounted for 33.3% of all passenger cars sold in the world. The top 3 countries held a 47.3% share while the ten largest countries some 73.5% in 2019.

China was the largest car producer in 2019 with 21,360 thousand followed by Japan and Germany. Total production of passenger cars reached 67,149 thousand in 2019 in the world, according to ACEA. China accounted for 31.8% of the world's production, while the top 3 countries held a 51.2% share and the ten largest countries some 77.4% in 2019:

Based on a comparison of 39 countries, China ranked the highest in sales of electric cars with 1,060 thousand followed by USA and Germany in 2019. When looking at the ratio of electric to total new cars sold, Norway ranked the highest with 55.9% followed by Iceland and Netherlands:

By contrast, Lithuania ranked the highest in the number of petrol-fuelled as a proportion of new cars sold with 79.9%, followed by Hungary and Poland. In terms of diesel-fuelled vehicles, Ireland ranked the highest with 46.6% followed by Bulgaria and Latvia:

In 2016, Switzerland ranked the highest in 4x4 drive cars as a share of new cars sold with 42.1% followed by Norway and Sweden. Switzerland ranked the highest in the average power of new cars sold with 122 kW followed by Luxembourg and Sweden:

Based on the latest available data, Lithuania, Estonia and Romania were the countries with the oldest average age of passenger cars. The average age was an ancient 16.9 years in Lithuania, 16.7 years years for Estonia and 16.3 years years in Romania. On the other end of the scale was Austria with 8.20 years years, the United Kingdom with 8.20 years years and Luxembourg with 6.40 years years.

Overview of Car Manufacturers

Based on a comparison of 27 firms among Global Car Producers, Volkswagen Group generated the highest sales in 2019 followed by Toyota Motor Corporation and Daimler Group. At the same time, Toyota Motor Corporation had the highest market value followed by Volkswagen Group and Tesla Inc.:

generated the highest earnings before interest costs, taxes and depreciation (so called EBITDA) in 2019 followed by and . At the same time, Ferrari generated the highest EBITDA Margin followed by Porsche AG and BMW Group.

Ferrari produced the highest net profit per car sold in 2019 followed by Porsche AG and Toyota Motor Corporation. Ferrari made a net profit of USD 77,831 for each car sold, down 21.7% compared to the previous year.

Jiří Staník
Jiří Staník
CEO & Founder
He spent nearly two decades analysing companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, primarily in the area of financial services. Jiri built and headed Equity Research at Wood & Company, a Central European brokerage firm, and got several awards (such as The Best Equity Research or The Best Analyst by Euromoney).