Tesla Model 3 becomes Europe’s best-selling car in September
September was another significant month for Europe’s automotive industry, as new car registrations fell by 25 percent to just 964,800 units. Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented: “Dealers continue to face issues with the availability of new cars due to the chip shortage. As a result, unwilling to wait more than a year for a new car, many consumers have turned to the used car market.”
Year-to-date, Europe’s 26 markets continued to outperform in comparison to 2020, however the gap has narrowed. By the end of the first half of the year, total registrations were 27 percent higher than in H1 2020. Results through September show that this gap has narrowed to just 7 percent. Munoz continued: “This year, the industry has responded well to the the pandemic, but it is now facing new supply chain challenges. The growing popularity of EVs is encouraging, but sales are not yet strong enough to offset the big declines seen across other segments.”
OEMs with a large offering of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars have been less impacted by the current crisis, as European consumers continue to take advantage of the various incentives and subsidies available for these vehicles. In stark contrast, both the chip shortage and the growing severity of the climate crisis has caused diesel vehicle sales to plummet. In September, low emission vehicles posted a monthly growth of 44 percent, to 221,500 units, while the registrations of diesels decreased by 51 percent, to 167,000 units.
Before the pandemic, there were 10.3 new diesel cars registered for every electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Today, that ratio has decreased to just 1.3. Munoz added: “Shifts of this magnitude are rare, and a number of factors have contributed to the current state of play. In addition to incentives, OEMs have enhanced their offering with more models and better deals, and many are shifting their limited supply of semiconductors to the production of EVs, instead of ICE vehicles.”
As a result of the EV boom, the Tesla Model 3 topped the European model rankings in September, with 24,600 registered units – a 2.6 percent market share. This is both first time that an EV has led the market and the first time that a vehicle manufactured outside of Europe has occupied the top spot.
The strong performance of the Model 3 is in part explained by Tesla’s intensive end-of-quarter sales push. September has historically been a strong month for the US manufacturer’s registration results in Europe, on average accounting for 68 percent of its third quarter deliveries since 2018. Last month, registrations accounted for 74 percent of third quarter volume. Since its’ entry to the European market, the Model Y has also performed well, securing second position in the BEV ranking.