The year 2022 is now behind us. It was a difficult year characterised by inflationary pressures around the world, the war in Ukraine and its effects on energy costs in Europe, and many other geopolitical tensions. Against this backdrop, the automotive industry recorded mixed results during the year.
In this edition of the Motor1 Numbers we have put together, through the work of our Network's editorial offices, the data on the world's best-selling cars in 2022 and here is what emerged.
2022 best selling vehicles in China
China, healthy thanks to the EVs
The situation in the world’s largest car market was quite good considering the global challenges. The volume increased by 2% to 26.86 million units compared to 2021. The volume was even better than in 2019 when the pandemic had not arrived yet. It is the first time that this market almost doubles the size of the US.
A big part of the growth was driven by EVs, strongly boosted by the central government. According to the preliminary data these vehicles represented 20% of total sales with the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV hitting the overall top 3 by models.
USA, the situation gets worse
The second largest market was more exposed to inflation pressures and higher interest rates. Sales of vehicles totalled 13.83 million units, down by 8% compared to 2021 and the lowest level since 2012. The volume was 19% lower than 2019.
Despite the bad results consumers continued to shift from saloons and MPVs to SUVs and trucks, and Tesla continued to gain traction putting two of its models in the top of the BEV ranking. Still, electric cars still make a small piece of the total.
2022 best selling vehicles in USA
Europe, the free fall continues
Meanwhile, in Europe the situation is not different from the American case. Data for the top 4 markets (Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain), which account for around 75% of the whole region, indicates that the drop did not stop.
In 2022 sales totalled 9.05 million units, down by 6% compared to 2021. The volume was down by 7% compared to the pandemic year (2020) and by 29% vs 2019. In four years the market lost more than 3.7 million units.
2022 best selling vehicles in Germany
2022 best selling vehicles in France
The situation is pretty much the same across the five countries. France and Italy posted the highest drops compared to 2021 while German figures remained stable. However, they all posted double-digit drops between 2019 and 2022. The lack of new cars at dealers, and the increasing cost of living partly due to the energy crisis, explain the critical situation.
2022 best selling vehicles in Italy
2022 best selling vehicles in Spain
Interestingly, while the overall model ranking continued to be dominated by traditional models, BEV rankings had a clear winner. The Tesla Model Y impressed by leading the BEV markets in Germany and the UK, the two largest markets for these cars in Europe.
2022 best selling vehicles in the UK
The bright spots
In contrast to America and Europe the situation in Australia, India, Indonesia, and Turkey was quite good. The volume did not only increase between 2021 and 2022, but it was higher than two and three years earlier.
For instance, in India there was an all-time record of 4.37 million units that put it as the world’s third largest vehicle market ahead of Japan. This is the first time that India outsells Japan.
2022 best selling vehicles in Australia
2022 best selling vehicles in India
2022 best selling vehicles in Indonesia
2022 best selling vehicles in Turkey
In Indonesia the industry is firmly heading to the 1 million units/year volume that happened between 2013 and 2018. The volume increased by 17% vs 2021 and by 95% vs 2020. Interestingly, the consumers reacted quite positively to the introduction of the locally made electric Wuling Air.
2022 best selling vehicles in Russia
2022 best selling vehicles in Brazil
2022 best selling vehicles in Argentina
The best-selling cars in each country in 2022
- Argentina : Fiat Cronos (38,769)
- Australia : Toyota Hilux (64,391)
- Brazil : Fiat Strada (112,456)
- China : BYD Song Plus (459,424)
- France : Peugeot 208 (88,812)
- Germany : Volkswagen Golf (84,282)
- India : Maruti Wagon R (217,317)
- Indonesia : Daihatsu Gran Max (65,062)
- Italy : Fiat Panda (105,384)
- United Kingdom : Nissan Qashqai (42,704)
- Russia : Lada Granta (99,356)
- Spain : Hyundai Tucson (21,985)
- United States : Ford F-Series (653,957)
- Turkey : Fiat Egea (68,779)
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.