New car registrations rise again in Europe, boosted by 61% increase in EV sales

  • Europe registered more than 850,000 cars in July – the 12th consecutive month of growth
  • Increase was boosted by near-61 per cent growth in EV sales
  • VW Group impressed but Stellantis suffered
  • Stellantis to begin shake-up of European dealer network next week

Time 8:56 am, September 2, 2023

New car sales in Europe surged by over 15 per cent in July as the car industry continued to recover from chip-related shortages.

Registrations reached 851,156 units, the latest figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show – a 15.2 per cent increase on the year before and the 12th consecutive month of growth.

Most markets posted solid growth, it said, including the four largest: France (+19.9 per cent), Germany (+18.1 per cent), Spain (+10.7 per cent) and Italy (+8.7 per cent).

Electric cars jumped the most – 60.6 per cent – helped by EV subsidies in a number of European Union countries. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) took 13.6 per cent of all new car sales in July, up by 3.6 per cent on July 2022.

Plug-in hybrids, meanwhile, accounted for 7.9 per cent of sales, while full hybrids made up one in four new vehicle sales in July.

Petrols and diesels accounted for just under 50 per cent of sales.

The petrol new car market grew by five per cent, but market share dropped from 39.3 per cent to 35.8 per cent. Diesels, meanwhile, slumped again, falling by 9.1 per cent, and now represent 14.1 per cent of the market.

For the half-year, registrations in the European Union jumped by 17.6 per cent, totalling 6.3m units.

However, the sector is still 22 per cent down year to date compared with the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

With UK registrations included in the European Union sales tally, Volkswagen Group posted a 19.2 per cent rise in sales, while Stellantis suffered a 3.3 per cent drop.

Aside from JLR (down 0.9 per cent) and Mitsubishi (-25.2 per cent), Stellantis was the only large car group to experience a fall in registrations in July.

The news comes as Stellantis said it will begin a shake-up of its European dealer network on Monday (Sep 4), beginning with Austria, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.

It is ending the traditional sales and service contracts and bringing in a distribution framework centred on agency sales.

The new sales model for its 14 brands will then be rolled out across the rest of Europe in 2024.

Stellantis said more than 8,000 sales and over 25,000 aftersales mandates had been signed in recent weeks across 10 strategic countries in Europe.

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Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Stellantis’s chief operating officer for enlarged Europe, hailed it as ‘a historic shift, not only for Stellantis but for the whole industry’.

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. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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