Sales of New Cars in Europe fell 13.5% in November 2020

Jiří Staník
December 30, 2020

Sales of new cars decreased by 163 thousand in November compared to last year

In the first eleven months of the year, the decline reached 26.1% yoy

Norway performed relatively the best (up 24.9% yoy) while sales in Bulgaria showed the weakest change compared to the last year (down 45.2% yoy)

Sales of new passenger cars reached 1,047 thousand in November 2020 in the enlarged Europe (EU plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), according to ACEA. This is 13.5%, or 163 thousand less than in the previous year. In the first eleven months of 2020, some 10,746 thousand cars were sold in Europe, down 26.1% yoy.

In November, new car registrations in the European Union fell by 12.0% to 897,692 units, as several European governments introduced new measures to contain the second wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic. As a result, the EU’s four key passenger car markets all posted declines last month. France and Spain suffered double-digit drops (down 27.0% and 18.7% respectively), followed by Italy with a more modest decline (-8.3%). German losses were limited to just -3.0%.

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 November, most vehicles (290 thousand) were sold in Germany (down 3.00% yoy), followed by Italy (138 thousand, down 8.09%), France with 126 thousand cars (down 27.0%), 114 thousand new vehicles were registered in the United Kingdom (down 27.4%) and 75.7 thousand in Spain (down 18.7%). The five largest countries accounted for 63.8% of total new vehicles registered in November 2020.

In absolute terms, the best performance in sales of new cars has been seen in Norway (up 2.50 thousand cars) and Greece (up 0.177 thousand cars). At the other end of the scale, France and the United Kingdom showed the biggest drop in registration of new cars in November when compared to last year (down 46.7 thousand and down 42.8 thousand cars, respectively).

In relative terms, sales in Norway (+24.9%) and Ireland (+20.3%) performed the best compared to a year ago, whereas registration in Bulgaria and Slovenia the worst (-45.2% and -30.9% yoy), in November 2020, according to ACEA:

In the first eleven months of the year, some 10,746 thousand cars were sold in Europe, down 26.1% 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 November 2020 November 2019 YOY Change % 1-11/2020 1-11/2019 YOY Change %
Austria 20.1 23.3 -13.8 225 307 -26.6
Belgium 29.1 34.6 -15.8 401 517 -22.3
Bulgaria 1.54 2.82 -45.2 20.7 32.5 -36.4
Croatia 2.65 3.46 -23.5 34.0 58.9 -42.3
Cyprus 1.02 0.921 10.9 9.40 11.4 -17.4
Czech Republic 17.5 20.2 -13.3 183 231 -21.0
Denmark 18.2 18.1 0.298 175 210 -16.6
Estonia 1.50 2.03 -25.8 17.3 24.7 -30.0
Finland 7.37 8.68 -15.0 88.3 106 -16.7
France 126 173 -27.0 1,464 2,003 -26.9
Germany 290 299 -3.00 2,606 3,324 -21.6
Greece 7.64 7.46 2.37 74.5 108 -30.7
Hungary 13.3 14.2 -6.68 115 142 -18.7
Iceland 0.557 0.642 -13.2 8.57 11.1 -23.1
Ireland 0.913 0.759 20.3 89.3 117 -23.7
Italy 138 151 -8.09 1,260 1,771 -28.9
Latvia 1.23 1.30 -4.78 12.8 17.0 -24.9
Lithuania 4.31 4.34 -0.761 36.0 43.2 -16.7
Luxembourg 3.81 3.95 -3.64 41.8 51.9 -19.4
Netherlands 33.5 39.2 -14.4 315 408 -22.7
Norway 12.5 10.0 24.9 121 131 -7.85
Poland 41.7 45.4 -8.15 377 503 -25.1
Portugal 11.8 16.4 -27.9 131 206 -36.3
Romania 13.3 13.1 1.24 110 148 -25.3
Slovakia 6.93 8.00 -13.4 69.2 86.8 -20.2
Slovenia 3.57 5.16 -30.9 51.2 66.7 -23.3
Spain 75.7 93.2 -18.7 745 1,153 -35.3
Sweden 26.6 30.5 -12.9 257 308 -16.4
Switzerland 22.8 24.2 -5.70 207 277 -25.0
United Kingdom 114 157 -27.4 1,498 2,162 -30.7
EU + EFTA 1,047 1,211 -13.5 10,746 14,542 -26.1
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales by Manufacturers

Volkswagen Group sold the most cars in November 2020 in Europe, some 269 thousand vehicles representing 25.7% of the European market. Sales of PSA Group amounted to 152 thousand vehicles (or 14.5% of the market) while Renault Group and BMW Group held 10.0% and 7.60% of the European market in November. Overall, the five largest manufacturers sold 64.1% of all new cars in November:

Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group sold 269 thousand new passenger cars representing a 25.7% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 11.5% fewer vehicles and a 0.594 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Looking back three years, VW's market share was 24.1%.

The Group sold 122 thousand of Volkswagen brand cars in November, followed by 55.1 thousand of Skodas and 54.1 thousand of Audis. Seat sold 29.8 thousand vehicles and Porsche some 7.71 thousand cars in November 2020:

PSA Group

PSA Group sold 152 thousand new passenger cars representing a 14.5% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 12.1% fewer vehicles and a 0.230 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, the market share three years ago stood at 15.9% and is down by 1.36 pp now.

The Group sold 66.1 thousand of Peugeots cars, followed by 46.1 thousand of Opels and 36.1 thousand of Citroens in November 2020:

BMW Group

BMW Group sold 79.2 thousand new passenger cars representing a 7.56% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 7.99% fewer vehicles and a 0.453 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Compared to three years ago, BMW Group's market share is now 0.582 pp higher.

The group sold 64.0 thousand of BMW brand cars, followed by 15.1 thousand of Minis in November 2020:

Hyundai Group

Hyundai Group sold 65.9 thousand new passenger cars representing a 6.30% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 19.5% fewer vehicles and a 0.473 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. Compared to three years ago, Hyundai Group's market share is now 0.131 pp lower.

The group sold 33.5 thousand of Kia brand cars, followed by 32.4 thousand of Hyundais in November 2020:

Renault Group

Renault Group sold 104 thousand new passenger cars representing a 9.97% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 14.1% fewer vehicles and a 0.064 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago, Renault Group's market share was 10.9%.

The group sold 68.6 thousand of Renault brand cars in November, followed by 35.7 thousand of Dacias and 0.105 thousand of Ladas:

FCA Group

FCA Group sold 65.1 thousand new passenger cars representing a 6.21% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 1.92% fewer vehicles and a 0.734 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago FCA Group's market share stood at 5.94%.

The group sold 43.4 thousand of Fiat brand cars in November, followed by 13.4 thousand of Jeeps and 3.63 thousand of Alfa-Romeos:

Toyota Group

Toyota Group sold 60.6 thousand new passenger cars representing a 5.78% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 1.40% fewer vehicles and a 0.710 pp increase in market share when compared to last year. Toyota Group's market share three years ago, by comparison, stood at 4.50%.

The group sold 56.9 thousand of Toyota brand cars in November, with Lexus following at 3.65 thousand cars:

Jaguar Land Rover Group

Jaguar Land Rover Group sold 13.2 thousand new passenger cars representing a 1.26% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 16.6% fewer vehicles and a 0.047 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. Three years ago however, the market share of Jaguar Land Rover Group was 1.46%.

The group sold 3.84 thousand of Jaguars in November, followed by of s:

Daimler Group

Daimler Group sold 74.3 thousand new passenger cars representing a 7.09% share of all new passenger cars sold in Europe in November 2020. This is 16.8% fewer vehicles and a 0.285 pp decrease in market share when compared to last year. By comparison, three years ago, Daimler Group's market share was 6.63%.

The group sold 69.9 thousand of Mercedes in November, followed by 4.33 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, generated the highest sales in 2019 followed by and . 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).