Fleet News

SUV demand across Europe begins to plateau

2020 VW Golf

The growth in demand for SUVs across Europe has slowed for the first time in six years as smaller, electrified models start to claw back sales.

Between January 2016 and January 2020, the market share of SUVs grew significantly - from 25% to 40%.

For the majority of the year, the market share of SUVs remained stable - between 40% to 41%. However, their registrations fell by 13% in November, and 21% YTD when compared to 2019.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “The market has benefitted hugely from a wider SUV offering provided this year. But with the impact of Covid-19 still in full force, demand is no longer growing in parallel to new product launches, nor at such a fast pace.”

Conversely, B and C cars experienced declines below the overall average, in fact, their market share increased in November due to new arrivals and a more competitive electrified offering.

Overall, Europe registered 1,045,129 new cars – 13% less than for the same period in 2019. November 2020 has recorded the lowest volume since 2014, when just 989,500 units were registered.

Year-to-date figures continue to point to a downward trend, with YTD volume dropping by 26%. European consumers registered 10.71 million units between January and November – the lowest YTD figures so far this century.

Munoz added: “The global pandemic and its impact on mobility has been extremely painful for the automotive industry, indeed more painful than any other economic crisis that has hit Europe over the last two decades.”

The overall ranking by models in November confirms that the Volkswagen Golf (pictured) kept its position as the most popular car in Europe. The hatchback registered 24,800 units in November – just short of 255,000 units since January.

Only two SUVs made it into the top 10 – the Peugeot 2008, followed by the Renault Captur. Further down the ranking, Ford Puma, Volvo XC40, Audi A3, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen ID3, Kia Niro, Mercedes GLA, Skoda Kamiq, Jeep Compass, Mercedes GLB, Nissan Juke, Audi Q3 Sportback, Kia Xceed, Suzuki Ignis, and BMW 2-Series, all posted healthy results.

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