After a large increase of European registrations experienced in December 2019, volumes for January have decreased, marking another month of transition for the complex new car market.
A total of 1,138,057 new passenger cars were registered in January 2020, representing a decline of 7.6 percent from January 2019. This steep reduction was in large part caused by the last minute purchases made in December, due to the impending introduction of the new CO2 emissions regulation.
Despite the decrease from December, registration levels were actually the fourth highest in January, for any year in the last decade.
In fact, electrified vehicles provided the only driver of growth for the market in January. They posted a record in volume and market share due to increasing incentives for consumers, greater awareness about the benefits of electrified vehicles, and the growing concern about diesel and petrol cars. During the first month of 2020, total EV registrations increased by a huge 72 percent, jumping from 87,100 units posted in January 2019 to 150,100 units in the same month of 2020. This is a market share of 13.3 percent compared to just 7.1 percent in the year prior.
All EV types contributed to growth as Hybrids (HEV ) increased their volume by 36 per cent, pure electric (BEV ) by 91 percent and plug-in hybrids (PHEV ) by 173 per cent. For the first time, the hybrids counted for less than half of total EV registrations.
The penetration of EVs in each market highlights the outstanding performance of these vehicles. They made up 77 percent of total car registrations in Norway, 38 percent in Sweden and 28 per cent in Finland.
Among the big markets, EVs counted for almost 19 percent in France, 14 percent in the UK, 12 percent in Spain, 10 percent in Germany and eight percent in Italy. By brand, these cars represented an important part of the volume registered by Smart (96 percent ), Lexus and Toyota (95 percent and 66 percent respectively ), DS (42 percent ), Suzuki (41 percent ) and Land Rover (37 percent ). In contrast to this, they made up a significantly smaller proportion of the volume by registered by Citroen (1.4 percent ), Seat (1.4 percent ), Ford (3.3 percent ), Opel (3.9 percent ), Skoda (four percent ) and Volkswagen (five percent ).
Meanwhile, despite a slight decrease in total registrations SUVs did manage to increase market share due to the drop in overall vehicle sales in January. Across Europe consumers bought 452,900 SUVs, down by only one percent, which allowed them to gain 2.6 points of share at 39.8 percent of total registrations.
Only 14 percent of all SUV registrations in January were powered by electrified engines, whereas 28 percent of luxury sedans were HEV, PHEV or BEV.
Among the latest launches, the Volkswagen T-Cross registered 12,880 units; the Skoda Kamiq - 6,079 units; Ford Puma - 6,036 units; Skoda Scala - 5,646; Mazda CX-30 - 5,561; Kia Xceed - 3,231; Audi Q3 Sportback - 3,080; DS 3 Crossback - 2,382; Lexus UX - 1,894; Tesla Model 3 - 1,457; and the Toyota Camry - 1,182.