European market sparks in July
The latest figures from market analyst Jato Dynamics highlight a substantial increase in demand for electric vehicles and hybrids across Europe in July, along with a revival in fortunes of the SUV segment.
Looking first at the overall market, Jato says that despite continuing economic uncertainty and diminishing consumer confidence, the European car market registered growth in July 2019, as registrations were up by 1.2% to 1,325,600 units. Although the growth was marginal, it marks a significant improvement on the drop seen in June, when registrations fell by 7.9%. However, the result is not significant enough to offset the market’s overall performance so far in 2019, with year-to-date figures showing 9,723,400 vehicles have been registered – a 2.5% drop on the same period last year.
Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst, comments: “There is uncertainty in Europe. After many years of growth, the market shows signs of deceleration that is likely to continue if the German economy fails to grow again. The growth seen in July was driven by the midsize and small markets, as 14 of the 27 countries analysed in JATO’s insights saw increases. Again, the situation is not as positive in the year-to-date figures, where only 10 markets have so far recorded growth. In terms of the Big 5 markets, Germany is the only one to show a year to date increase (of just 1.1%) with France, Italy, the UK and Spain, all down by figures from 2.2% to 5.1%.
Appetite for electricity
Moving on to the electric wave, Jato finds that registrations of BEV, PHEV, HEV and other electric vehicles totalled 96,600 units in July – an increase of 29% over July 2018. The fuel type also saw a market share increase from 5.8% to 7.4%. “Even if they still makeup a comparatively marginal part of the overall market, electric vehicles are definitely becoming the industry’s bright spot during these challenging times,” explains Munoz.
Jato goes on to say that the increase in the EV market share came as a result of the outstanding performance of pure electric cars (BEVs), where volume was up by a huge 98% to 23,200 units. The growth was driven by Tesla – the top-selling brand – and Renault, which saw a 103% volume increase after its Zoe model became the top-selling BEV during the month. Other notable results included Volkswagen, where volume was up by 64%, Hyundai, where volume was up by 334%, and Audi, which sold 1,735 units of the E-Tron.
Consumers bought 505,900 SUVs in July, as demand increased by 8.7%. This result puts fears of a deceleration in the segment to rest, which was a concern after demand for the car type slowed to the lowest recorded rate in June. However, the increase seen in July 2018 was still lower than the 35%, 18% and 12% increases seen in July 2018, July 2017 and July 2016, respectively.