The Renault Clio is Europe's most popular car!
The Renault Clio is Europe’s most popular car!

Clio is King of Europe!

The new Renault Clio is Europe’s bestselling new car, according to figures released by Jato Dynamics.

The European new car market continued to decline throughout February 2020 but the small French hatchback racked up 24,914 new registrations.

The new Renault Clio was launched in 2019 and is selling well in Ireland, with 1,125 units up to the end of February making it one of Ireland’s top 10 bestselling new cars.

The Clio has pushed the Volkswagen Golf into second place in Europe, while the new Peugeot 208 is now the third bestselling model.

European new car sales in decline

Overall 1,063,264 cars were registered in Europe in February, down 7% on February 2019. The data does not show yet the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the European automotive market.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, commented:

“The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Europe due to complex regulation, lack of available homologated cars, and increasing pressure on the economy. All of these factors are having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence.”

There was growth in registrations of electric vehicles, which jumped from 75,400 units in February 2019 to 135,500 units last month. The increase of over 80% came at the expense of diesel and petrol cars who saw significantly fewer registrations.

The volume of EVs more than doubled in Germany and France – their biggest markets. In terms of market share, EVs represented 75% of all passenger cars registrations in Norway, 33% in Sweden, 31% in Finland, 22% in Netherlands and 17% in Hungary. France leads among the big 5 markets, with an EV penetration of 14%, against 13% in the UK, 11% in Germany, 10% in Spain, and 8.6% in Italy.

Any trends in new car sales?

Registrations for SUVs fell by 1.7% to 415,300 units, taking the year-to-date total to 865,500 units, down by 1.4% from last year. The fall in registrations was due to the compact SUVs, declining by 3.7% in contrast to the strong growth experienced by large SUVs, who saw an increase of 17%. Although there was a decrease in SUV registrations, their market share did in fact increase due to the overall downturn of the market.

Midsize cars posted the highest growth among all segment, thanks to the BMW 3-Series, boosted by a new generation model, and the Volkswagen Passat. Their combined registrations made up 31% of the whole midsize segment volume.

Vans also saw an increased in registrations, coming very close to beating the market share of MPVs, who experienced a decrease of 27%.

Big improvers for the month included the Fiat 500, BMW 3-Series, Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Kona, BMW 1-Series, Audi A4, Volvo XC40 and Citroen C5 Aircross. Among the latest new car launches, the Toyota Corolla registered 13,600 units, 11,600 for the Volkswagen T-Cross, 7,500 units of the Ford Puma, 6,700 units for Skoda Kamiq, 5,100 units for Skoda Scala, and 4,600 units of the Mazda CX-30.

Finally, the Audi Q3 Sportback registered 3,900 units, Kia XCeed 3,700 units, and both the Audi E-Tron and DS 3 Crossback registered 2,300 units each.