In October, the European new car market grew 14% year on year to 903,533 new vehicles, the third consecutive month of growth in 2022.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “In October 2021, the market was facing the worst of the semiconductor crisis, but one year on, it has understood the challenge and is learning to deal with it.”

Positive results achieved in August, September, and October have not however been enough to offset the losses felt during the first seven months of the year, however. YTD volume reached 9.09m units, down 8%.

When the pandemic hit the European market during January to October 2020, volume totalled 9.67m.

Munoz added: “The impact of the shortage of new cars at dealerships, alongside economic and geopolitical uncertainty, have been more damaging to sales volumes than the lockdowns of 2020. As OEMs adapt to this new reality, consumers are also understanding that they face longer waiting times than they used to for new cars.”

October growth was explained partly by strong performance from Volkswagen Group. The automaker registered 230,115 units, a 40% volume increase driven mainly by Audi, Skoda, and Cupra.

This ws, however, considerably lower than the 281,700 units registered in October 2020, and the 302,000 (approximate) units registered in October 2019.

Toyota also performed well with sales up by 47%, outpacing results from 2019 and 2020 thanks to the success of its latest launches. But Lexus saw volume decline 14%.

Ford increased registrations by 35% thanks to the Puma and Fiesta but was unable to match volume from 2019 and 2020, at 77,600 and 60,600 units respectively.

October was a record month for MG as the Chinese manufacturer registered over 12,000 new vehicles. In the same month last year, volume totalled 4,800 units, and just over 2,900 units in 2020.

Munoz said: “This success is explained by introduction of more appealing products, particularly their electrified range, at competitive prices. MG is proving that with the right offering, Chinese manufacturers can succeed in Europe.”

BEV registrations exceed 1m YTD

Last month, EVs (BEV and PHEV) made up 23% of total volume. Despite a volume increase of 15%, the market share for these vehicles remained the same as October 2021. BEV registrations totalled 119,600 units, up 15%, while PHEV registrations totalled 88,200 units, up 13%. Year to date, BEV demand increased 24% to reach 1,103,055 units.

Key brands

VW brand led the market in October with a 12.7% market share – this rose to 25% with the inclusion of other the brands under the Volkswagen Group umbrella. Renault followed thanks to the success of the Megane E-Tech, while demand for the Zoe declined. BMW volume soared 111%, with growth driven by the i4 and iX, making it the third most popular EV brand with a 7.1% market share.

Peugeot 208 on top

Despite losing momentum in recent months, the Peugeot 208 returned to the top spot in both the monthly and YTD model ranking, significantly ahead of the Dacia Sandero in second place. The 208 was likely to dethrone the Golf as Europe’s best-selling car by the end of this year.

The BEV ranking was led by two VW models – the ID.4 and the ID.3. Sales of the former continued to increase because of its key market position as a midsize electric SUV. In contrast, registrations of the ID.3 declined 3% in October and by 41% to 34,320 units YTD.

At third position in the BEV ranking was the Fiat 500, maintaining its position as the most popular electric car since January, excluding Tesla models. The Renault Megane E-Tech became the fifth most popular EV in Europe, outselling rivals such as the Cupra Born and Nissan Leaf by a significant margin.

Polestar entered the top 10 due to a strong performance from the 2 – the best-selling premium EV in October, ahead of the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. Notably, the latter became the most popular electric BMW.