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Hopes for a quick new car sales recovery in Europe with Renault Clio leading the way in May

Time 1 year ago

The Renault Clio has held its position as Europe’s best-selling car, new figures show.

For the second time this year, the new Clio was the clear favourite in Europe, May registrations data from Jato Dynamics shows.

The French supermini scored more than 16,000 registrations and pushed the Volkswagen Golf into second at 13,125 registrations. The Jato data says the Golf was held back by lack of availability and a costly software error.

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Peugeot’s 208 was third, the Dacia Sandero was fourth and rounding off the top five was the Renault Captur.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of the VW T-Roc, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Dacia Duster, Citroen C3 and in tenth was the VW Tiguan.

The Toyota Corolla was Europe’s best-selling hybrid with 5,185 registrations and the Renault Zoe was the favourite EV with 3,679 registrations.

Surprisingly, the brand new Ford Kuga led the plug-in hybrid sales charts with 1,650 sales and beat the BMW X3, VW Passat GTE, BMW X5 and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.


The Jato data also singled out the Ford Puma, Skoda Kamiq, Mazda CX-30, the Mercedes GLE and the Audi Q3 Sportback as performing particularly well in their respective classes.

‘V’ or ‘U’-shaped recovery

At a wider level, the Jato data showed that total registrations fell by 57 per cent in May down to 622,067 units across 27 markets – taking the cumulative results for 2020 to 3.95m units, down by 43 per cent year-on-year.

Jato said that although this seems like a significant decrease, May’s result mark a positive turning point, up from the decrease registered in April, when the volume fell by 78 per cent.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, explained: ‘Registrations volumes more than doubled in May, compared to the figures achieved in April.

‘Despite the positive signs of recovery, a proportion of these registrations could correspond to sales that occurred prior to lockdown; therefore, we still do not have enough information to predict whether Europe will experience a ‘V’ or a ‘U’ shaped recovery.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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