One In Five BEV Sales In Europe In February Were Chinese-Made Cars

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In February, sales of passenger cars in 28 European markets reached 988,116, marking a 10% increase compared to the same month last year. The electric vehicle (EV) segment accounted for 13.2% of the market, with Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 leading the charge. Additionally, cars manufactured in China experienced the highest year-on-year growth rate at 45%.

In February 2024, the European new car market experienced a positive trend, with a 10% increase in passenger car registrations compared to February 2023, according to data from JATO Dynamics covering 28 European markets. The total registrations for the month reached 988,116, contributing to a year-to-date growth of 11%. Felipe Munoz, a Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, noted that the car market has been strengthening alongside the improving economic outlook despite ongoing geopolitical tensions in the region.

Interestingly, the growth in the market was not driven by Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) as it has been in the past. Instead, petrol cars nearly matched their pre-pandemic performance, accounting for 61% of total sales in February 2024, a slight decrease from the 62% share in February 2019. This rise in petrol car sales came at the expense of diesel vehicles, which saw their market share drop from 35% in February 2019 to just 15% in February 2024. Munoz highlighted that despite a shift towards electric vehicles, many European consumers are still choosing gasoline-powered cars over electric ones, leading to a decline in demand for diesel models.

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Cars manufactured in China stood out with the highest year-on-year growth in February 2024, at 45%, and in the first two months of the year, at 43%. This growth was higher than that of cars made in Germany and Spain, both of which saw a 6% increase. Chinese-made cars have now increased their market share to 4.0%, up from 3.0% in February of the previous year, surpassing vehicles made in Italy, Korea, Morocco, and Romania. This growth is even more pronounced in the BEV segment, where Chinese-made cars accounted for one in five BEV registrations in February and January-February. However, the volume of plug-in hybrid cars from China fell by 62%, with these vehicles making up just 3.4% of the total coming from China, compared to 66% for BEVs.

Munoz attributed part of this growth to actions taken by some Chinese OEMs to accelerate imports ahead of the EU decision on the anti-subsidy investigation. While increased tariffs could slow the growth of China’s OEMs, it might also prompt them to speed up their deliveries to Europe.

It’s worth noting that approximately 44% of all the volumes of made-in-China cars were registered by Western brands, including Tesla, Volvo, and Dacia, while 40% were registered by MG, which is fully Chinese-owned and designed but positioned as a UK brand in the West. This means that Chinese brands accounted for just 16% of Chinese-made car registrations, highlighting the ongoing challenges these manufacturers face in terms of perception and awareness in Europe.

MG, owned by SAIC, continued to rise in the rankings in February, securing the highest market share increase of any OEM, driven mainly by the popularity of its combustion engine models. The MG 4 was the fourth most-registered electric car in February, but petrol models were the main driver of growth for the manufacturer, allowing MG to register more new cars than Cupra, Mazda, or Jeep during the month.

Other notable performers in February included Suzuki, BMW Group, Mitsubishi, and Toyota, while Volkswagen Group, Ford, Renault Group, Mercedes, and Hyundai-Kia experienced the most significant losses in market share. The Dacia Sandero retained its position as the most registered car in Europe for the second consecutive month, with 20,800 units registered, marking a 13% increase compared to February 2023. The Tesla Model Y, which was the most registered passenger car in Europe last year, fell behind, while the Volkswagen Golf took third place due to strong demand in key markets. Registrations of the Citroen C3 rose by 61% from February 2023, partly due to competitive deals on the previous generation and pricing introduced by the OEM as the new generation arrived. Other models like the Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla, Audi A3, BMW X1, Seat/Cupra Leon, Tesla Model 3, MG Zs, and Opel/Vauxhall Astra also saw increases in registrations.

Among the latest entries, Jeep registered 5,677 units of the Avenger, with 1,434 of them being electric. Volvo registered 3,663 units of the EX30, Renault registered 1,722 units of the Espace, Mitsubishi registered 1,535 and 1,339 units of the Colt and the ASX, respectively, and Honda registered 1,100 units of the ZR-V.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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