Best-selling cars in Europe

27 October 2021 - autocar

Best-selling cars in Europe

Tesla Model 3 becomes the first EV and the first car produced outside of Europe to top best-sellers list

The best-selling car in Europe was an EV for the first time ever in September, as the Tesla Model 3 surpassed the Volkswagen Golf

The saloon also became the first ever car from a manufacturer based outside of Europe to become the best-seller. A total of 24,600 units were registered in September, equivalent to a 2.6% market share. 

Tesla's strong performance in September continues a strong trend for the American firm, as the month on average has accounted for 68% of its third quarter deliveries since 2018. 

Electrified vehicle ownership grew 44% to 221,500 units, while the registrations of diesels decreased by 51% to 167,000 units.

“Dealers continue to face issues with the availability of new cars due to the chip shortage,” said automotive data firm Jato Dynamics. “As a result, unwilling to wait more than a year for a new car, many consumers have turned to the used car market.”

Total new car registrations dropped overall by 25%, as total volume decreased to 964,800 units, attributed to the shortage of new cars due to the chip crisis. 

“This year, the industry has responded well to the pandemic, but it's now facing new supply chain challenges,” Jato Dynamics said. “The growing popularity of EVs is encouraging, but sales aren't yet strong enough to offset the big declines seen across other segments.”

Tesla’s success this month means the firm now leads the EV market with a share of 24%. The Volkswagen Group has a 22% market share, Stellantis a 13% share and Hyundai-Kia almost 11%. 

The Ford Kuga topped the standings for plug-in hybrids once again, with 3385 units sold, followed closely by the BMW 3 Series. 

Here are the best-selling cars in Europe in June 2021:

1 Tesla Model 3 24,591, +58%

Tesla’s Model 3 is proving to be more popular than ever as it becomes the first ever electric car and the first car produced outside of Europe to top Jato’s best-selling list. Tesla sold 24,591 Model 3s in September, an increase of 58% compared to this time last year, knocking the dominant Volkswagen Golf off the top spot. 

​2 Renault Clio 18,264, -23%

Despite a year-on-year drop of 23%, the Clio climbs back up to second place with 18,264 models sold in September this year. The model gained a new hybrid powertrain earlier this year, comprising a 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors. 

3 Dacia Sandero 17,988, -8%

The Dacia Sandero is still Britain's cheapest car, despite a recently announced price increase. It sports a stylish new look and is even packed with a few features that some would consider premium, including LED headlights and an infotainment touchscreen on higher trim levels. It uses the same basic platform as the latest Clio, and its affordability has no doubt played a huge part in its roaring success.

4 Volkswagen Golf 17,507, -39%

The Volkswagen Golf dropped three places in September, with the Tesla Model 3 taking the German family car's coveted top spot. The Golf has always been one of the region's best-sellers and is likely to remain that way, with recently updated variants including the GTI Clubsport and R. 

5 Fiat 500 16,349, -3%

Fiat’s ever-popular 500 sold 16,349 units in September across Europe, with its new all-electric variant leading the charge. The EV offers up to 199 miles of range, and a new all-red model was launched earlier this month. 

6 Vauxhall/Opel Corsa 15,502, -41%

The Corsa suffered a big drop in sales compared with this time last year: a 41% difference, at 15,502 units. It’s not all bad though, as the model re-enters the top 10 after a month’s absence. The model was rejuvenated last year with a design overhaul, new engines and an all-electric option. 

7 Peugeot 2008 14,931, -16%

The Peugeot 2008 re-enters the top 10 this month with 14,931 sales. The stylish model has routinely appeared in the list of the top ten best selling models, and this month it moves ahead of SUV rivals including the Volkswagen T-Roc and Hyundai Tucson. 

8 Hyundai Tucson 14,088, +40%

The new Hyundai Tucson is the Korean firm's best-selling model in Europe, and it's no wonder that it has consistently made an appearance in the top 10 since its launch because it offers both standout styling and an unusually wide variety of powertrains. 

9 Peugeot 208 13,895, -31%

Despite a sales drop of 31% compared with September 2020, the Peugeot 208 returned to the top 10 in September. The model received an extensive redesign in line with the firm’s new design language and became the first small car to be offered with diesel, electric and hybrid powertrains. 

10 Renault Captur 13,715, -36%

The Renault Captur also makes its return to the top 10 this month, following the arrival of an E-Tech hybrid powertrain option. The crossover has helped to knock the Volkswagen T-Roc and Ford Puma out of the best-sellers list, thanks to 13,715 units sold.

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