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SUVs accounted for 54% of European new vehicle registrations which increased 10% to 1,155,648 units in September, the slowest rate of growth recorded this year, JATO Dynamics’ assessment showed. BEV demand rose 13%.

In comparison to September 2020, when the pandemic was impacting the market, total volume was down 11%.

JATO global analyst Felipe Munoz said: “Despite financial pressures such as rising inflation and interest rates, alongside geopolitical uncertainty, the European car market has seen consistent growth over the course of this year. While EVs have been a key driver of this growth, it is unlikely that this will be sustained for much longer, considering truly affordable ICE alternatives now remain a rarity in the market.”

Demand for electric vehicles was high considering the lack of affordable EVs. September EV registrations totalled 186,380 units accounting for 16.1% of the market, up 13% year on year. Year to date, 1,465,249 new electric passenger cars have been registered, a 47% increase.

Munoz: “Despite higher prices, these vehicles have a considerable presence within the market. Now, we will only see this growth continue if and when cheaper alternatives arrive.”

SUVs dominate

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By GlobalData

The popularity of SUVs continued to support BEV sales, accounting for 60% of BEV volume in September. The market share of these vehicles was even higher than the record 54% seen in the overall market.

Munoz: “The impact of SUVs on the traditional market has fed through to the EV market. Their strong sales performance is largely due to the increasingly broad offer spanning both luxury and smaller more affordable models.”

Tesla’s electric SUV, the Model Y, was Europe’s most popular new car in September with 29,309 units registered – topping both monthly and YTD rankings.

Munoz: “It’s very likely that the Tesla Model Y will finish the year as Europe’s most registered new vehicle. Considering Tesla’s strong performance across its range, the brand also has the potential to shock the industry by outselling legacy local OEMs such as Fiat or Citroen.”

Despite the success of the Model Y, Tesla registrations fell by 19% in September due to declining demand for the Model 3. The midsize sedan is currently undergoing a facelift which can dampen sales performance in the short term as consumers wait for the arrival of the new model.

In contrast, MG registered more than 26,500 units, a 91% increase. This took the YTD volume to 163,200 units, up 126%. In terms of volume, MG is already outperforming competitors including Suzuki, Mazda, and Mini. Last month, the MG 4 was Europe’s second most registered electric vehicle, its best performance since being introduced in September 2022. Over this period, MG has registered 57,800 units of the compact hatchback.

The MG ZS has also been gaining traction, up 118% to 11,862 units, becoming Europe’s 12th best selling SUV during the month. Other models that performed well include the Nissan Juke, up 93% to 8,583 units; the Seat/Cupra Leon (+93%); the BMW X3 (+53%); the Mercedes GLC (+269%); and the BMW X1 (+177%).