In March 2024, 1,377,541 new cars were registered in Europe, according to data reported by JATO Dynamics for 28 countries, a 2.7 per cent drop compared to the same month in 2023.

This slowdown, comments JATO Dynamics Global Analyst Felipe Munoz, also seems to be caused by the "sky-high prices of electric cars that are blocking the transition from petrol and diesel cars to EVs, due to uncertainty about government incentives in many European countries and fears about battery life".

The drop in sales of electric cars is compensated in the first three months of 2024 by the boom in hybrid cars, which with 382,700 units from January to March mark a +18% increase. On the other hand, the advance of Chinese cars seems to have slowed down somewhat, with only +0.7% in March 2024.

Tesla Model Y is back in the lead. Golf does well

In March, the Tesla Model Y won the European best-seller ranking with 26,847 registrations, down 42% on the same month last year.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero

In second place was the Volkswagen Golf, which thanks also to the latest updates, registered 25,779 units on the continent and an excellent +43%.  In third place is the Dacia Sandero, which with 25,660 vehicles registered, registers+ 23% more than last year.

Also growing strongly in March 2024 are Renault Clio (+28%), Ford Puma (+26%) and Toyota Yaris (+39%). Other newcomers that stand out in terms of number of registrations include the Volvo EX30, Honda ZR-V and E:NY1 and BMW i5.

Best-selling cars in Europe in February 2024

  1. Tesla Model Y, 26,847 units (-42%)
  2. Volkswagen Golf 25,779 (+43%)
  3. Dacia Sandero, 25,660 units (+23%)
  4. Nissan Qashqai, 24,764 (+14%)
  5. Peugeot 208, 23,462 (-1%)
  6. Renault Clio, 22,964 (+28%)
  7. Citroen C3, 21,110 (+16%)
  8. Volkswagen T-Roc, 20,852 (-3%)
  9. Ford Puma, 19,077 (+26%)
  10. Toyota Yaris, 19,056 (+39%)
  11. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, 18,761 (-26%)
  12. Toyota Yaris Cross, 18,586 (-18%)
  13. Kia Sportage, 18,503 (+4%)
  14. Peugeot 2008, 18,473 (0%)
  15. Skoda Octavia, 18,369 (+13%)
  16. Hyundai Tucson, 17,077 (-8%)
  17. Renault Captur, 15,954 (+16%)
  18. Nissan Juke, 15,786 (+30%)
  19. Dacia Duster, 15,478 (-12%)
  20. Audi A3, 15,367 (+19%)
  21. Fiat/Abarth 500, 14,664 (-23%)
  22. Toyota Corolla, 13,931 (+14%)
  23. Fiat Panda, 13,780 (+13%)
  24. Volkswagen Tiguan, 12,976 (-7%)
  25. Volvo XC40, 12,827 (+2%)

Chinese cars brake, but not BYD

As mentioned, Made in China cars are limited to a meagre +0.7% in Europe as of March 2024, with a 36% share of Chinese electrics, which, however, only account for 6.1% of EVs on the continental market.

In practice, says Munoz, Chinese manufacturers are also suffering from the European drop in registrations and are also paying the price for the European Commission's recent investigations into Chinese car imports.

MG ZS

MG ZS

BYD Act 3

BYD Act 3

The MG brand, ninth despite a 38 per cent monthly drop, still accounts for 61 per cent of Chinese car registrations in Europe, followed by BYD at 24 per cent market share and growing strongly (+577 per cent) and Great Wall at 5 per cent.