After a sustained period of decline, European new vehicle registrations finally increased in August.

According to JATO Dynamics data for 27 European markets, volume increased 3.5% year on year to 739,037 units but YTD volume fell 12% to 7,143,460 units.

Only six markets posted a decline during August with the big five (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, UK) among those that saw growth during the month.

Global analyst Felipe Munoz said: “The situation is still quite complex. Although the industry is slowly learning how to deal with the shortage of components and parts, consumers still face long waiting lists for new vehicles with many being forced to shift to the second-hand market”.

SUVs and B-Segment drive growth

Last month, SUVs accounted for almost 48% of total new vehicle registrations. Leading the way, the C-SUV and B-SUV segments secured 18.9% and 18.3% market share respectively ahead of the B-Segment (hatchback and sedan) with 17.9%. Volkswagen Group led the SUV segment, accounting for 28% in this category and exceeding its share in the overall market at 26.5%.

The German manufacturer saw an increase in volume of 16%, thanks largely to the T-Roc – Europe’s top-selling vehicle in August – supported by strong performances by the Tiguan, ID.4, and Taigo.

Stellantis followed VW in the SUV segment but lost traction with a 9% drop in volume. Registrations fell for the Peugeot 3008 (-39%), Opel/Vauxhall Grandland (-29%), Citroen C5 Aircross (-16%), and the Jeep Renegade and Compass (-42% and -53% respectively). Despite this, the positive performances of the Peugeot 2008 (+27%), Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (+25%) and Opel/Vauxhall Crossland (+21%) secured Stellantis’ second place.

In contrast, it was Stellantis that led the market in the B-Segment with a 32% share due to the continued success of the Peugeot 208. Europe’s second best-selling vehicle last month, and the most popular since January.

Chinese manufactured BEVs on the rise

Electrified vehicles (BEV and PHEV) lost momentum last month. While registrations of petrol vehicles increased 6% to 422,659 units, electrified vehicle registrations rose only 3.2% to 157,075 units. The volume of pure electric vehicles (BEV) increased by 11%, accounting for 61% of EV demand.

Twenty percent of all BEVs registered in August were made in China, the second most popular country of origin, after Germany with 28%. Last month, registrations of Chinese made BEVs soared 78% while those produced in Europe increased by just 17%.

Munoz said: “The rapid growth of Chinese manufactured EVs in Europe is an early indicator of how, sooner or later, they will play a key role in the global market”.

Notably, most of the cars made in China were not produced by Chinese OEMs. Almost half of those made in China were manufactured by Tesla, while the Dacia Spring and several MG models also contributed to the total. In August, only 18% of EVs made in China and registered in Europe were sold under a Chinese brand.

T-Roc leads again

The VW T-Roc led in the overall ranking by model for the second consecutive month, registering almost 16,000 units in August, an increase of 43%. Thanks to these results, the T-Roc passed the Golf in the YTD ranking and secured its position as Europe’s most popular SUV.

Other strong performers in August included the Peugeot 208, Citroen C3, and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa. Registrations of the Kia Sportage and Ford Kuga increased by 63% and 59%, respectively, while registrations of the Tesla Model Y almost doubled, making it the best-selling BEV in August. Peugeot sold 6,275 units of the 308, a significant increase from 1,980 in August 2021.

Among the latest launches, VW registered 5,400 units of the Taigo while the Dacia Jogger registered just over 5,000 units. Registrations of the Cupra Born totalled 2,838 units while Kia EV6 registrations totalled 2,227.