European market drops by a quarter

New car registrations across 26 countries in Europe fell by 25% to 964,800 units in September, although it was a good month for electric vehicles as the Tesla Model 3 became the first EV to top the sales charts.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Dealers continue to face issues with the availability of new cars due to the chip shortage. As a result, unwilling to wait more than a year for a new car, many consumers have turned to the used car market.”

He continued: “This year, the industry has responded well to the pandemic, but it is now facing new supply chain challenges. The growing popularity of EVs is encouraging, but sales are not yet strong enough to offset the big declines seen across other segments.”

In September, low emission vehicles posted a monthly growth of 44%, to 221,500 units, while the registrations of diesels decreased by 51%, to 167,000 units. Before the pandemic, there were 10.3 new diesel cars registered for every electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Today, that ratio has decreased to just 1.3.

The Tesla Model 3 saw sales of 24,600 units – a 2.6% market share – which is both first time that an EV has led the market and the first time that a vehicle manufactured outside of Europe has occupied the top spot.