The European car market noted a strong 63% year-over-year rebound from the super low level a year ago (affected by lockdown measures) to over 1.37 million (over 3 million in Q1), but it's still far away from pre-COVID numbers.

JATO Dynamics notes the continuation of strong demand for crossover/SUV type of vehicles (almost 45% share) and the fade of diesel to a record low share of 24%.

At the same time, plug-ins are doing great, acquiring 16% of the market (roughly 220,000 in 26 countries) - compared to nearly 10% a year ago, and less than 4% in 2019.

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Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics commented:

“The European car market is still a way off from reaching pre-pandemic volumes, and governments must take further action to help boost sales and restore consumer confidence.”

“Consumers are reacting positively to more extensive and competitive EV offerings. However, as these vehicles are often more expensive than ICE models, the positive impact has not yet offset the big drops seen across traditional high-emissions fuel types.”

Top 10 best-selling models

According to JATO Dynamics' data, the top-selling car in March was the Volkswagen Golf with 26,265 units, followed by two closely related models - Peugeot 208 and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa. All of them include conventional and plug-in versions.

Due to volume deliveries, focused in the third month of a quarter, the Tesla Model 3 was fourth-best with almost 24,000 (and a huge advantage over any plug-in model).

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It's quite an achievement, and it will be very interesting whether the combination of high demand for crossover/SUVs and EVs will allow to repeat such results also with the Made-in-Germany Tesla Model Y (the production is promised to start by the end of the year).