The strength of the European new car market continued to deteriorate in November 2021. Registrations posted the lowest level for November over the last 30 years.

JATO Dynamics’ data revealed a total volume of 855,281 units, across 25 European markets, 18% lower than last year and 29% lower than November 2019.

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Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Although the market has not recovered entirely from the pandemic, the current problem does not relate to a lack of demand, but rather a lack of supply.”

As a result, year to date growth fell to just 0.4% compared to 2020, and the year was expected to end with similarly low figures.

Munoz said: “When you consider the chip shortage in combination with local lockdowns experienced over the course of this year, there is a clear backlog of consumers wishing to renew their cars. This delay could have two main impacts: the first being that we see a large uptick in registrations next year if the shortage is solved; the second that consumers begin to adapt their buying patterns, moving toward keeping their vehicles for longer periods.”

Electric and plug-in hybrids at record levels

Despite the difficult environment, registrations of low emissions cars in Europe totalled 217,709 units last month, accounting for 26% of total registrations. Registered units of these vehicles hugely outweighed diesel counterparts in November, with the volume for low emissions cars 41% higher than achieved for diesel. The volume for petrol vehicles was more than double (2.1x) the volume recorded for low emissions cars.

The strong growth for EVs is partly explained by increased interest from the public, alongside the significant shift from governments and OEMs towards lower emissions vehicles.

Munoz said: “If you want a new car in this current environment, the chances are that EVs are going to be more accessible given the range of offers and incentives available.”

The Tesla Model 3 led the BEV ranking, followed by the Renault Zoe and Dacia Spring.

In the PHEV market, the most-registered car was the Peugeot 3008, followed by the Volvo XC40 and Ford Kuga.

The chip shortage also had a notable impact on the overall model ranking. The top position was occupied by the Renault Clio, however there was less than 200 units between the Renault and the fourth model in the ranking.

The Renault and its rivals – Peugeot 208 and Dacia Sandero – were not as negatively affected last month as the Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Yaris, whose volume fell by 72% and 65% respectively.

The Yaris fell short due to positive results from the Yaris Cross – the SUV model that went on sale in September.

The Hyundai Tucson made it into the top 10 thanks to the new generation; Tesla more than doubled its registrations of the Model 3; the new Toyota Yaris Cross came in at 24th position outselling the Yaris; BMW X3 saw an increase of 55%, ahead of the new Mokka (with almost 7,900 units) and the second best-selling Opel/Vauxhall; while the Dacia Spring and Skoda Enyaq registered almost 5,900 and 5,200 units each.

The new C4 became the second best-selling Citroen; Renault registered 5,600 units of the Arkana, and Tesla registered 5,400 units of the Model Y – the fifth best-selling BEV in November, ahead of the Volkswagen ID.4 with 4,800 units.