European Automotive Market Insights
The European automotive market over the last decade, from around 2012 to 2022, has experienced a series of transformative shifts driven by technology, environmental concerns, changing consumer preferences, and economic factors. One of the most significant trends in the last decade has been the explosion of interest in SUVs and crossovers. Their higher driving position, perceived safety advantages, and versatile interiors made them especially attractive. Compact SUVs, in particular, gained popularity in urban settings. Diesel vehicles, once favored in Europe for their fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions, faced a decline, especially after the Dieselgate scandal involving Volkswagen in 2015. Concerns over NOx emissions and the potential health implications led to cities proposing diesel bans and customers moving away from them. The push towards a greener future resulted in a substantial increase in the development and sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles (EVs). Many governments provided incentives for EVs, and charging infrastructure grew. By the end of the decade, numerous models were available, and EVs started entering the mainstream. The EU implemented stringent emission standards, pushing manufacturers to develop cleaner and more efficient vehicles. The CO2 emission targets set by the European Commission especially influenced the shift towards electrification. The early part of the decade saw the residual effects of the financial crisis, with subdued sales. However, the mid-2010s witnessed a rebound, only for the market to be impacted again by Brexit uncertainties, global trade tensions, and, significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Traditional strongholds like Germany, France, and the UK continued to be major markets, but there was growth in Eastern European countries. The shift in the UK's position with Brexit also brought about changes in the automotive trade and market dynamics. Apart from the shift to SUVs and EVs, there was a notable decline in the interest for MPVs (or minivans), with families preferring SUVs or crossover models. Sedans, while still popular, faced challenges from both SUVs and hatchbacks.
Top Level European Vehicle Sales Hubs (By Year)
Every year, we assemble dozens of data reports on the European automotive market. From total sales, to a breakdown of sales by brand, segment and sub-segments and even manufacturers. Below, you can find our year-in-review summaries for the entire European new vehicle market from decades ago, all the way to the present.