The European passenger car market was not able to rebound from the chip supply crisis and noted another decrease last month.

In December, new passenger car registrations in Europe (28 European markets, monitored by JATO Dynamics) fell by 22% year-over-year to 949,252. That's despite December 2020 already down 3.8% compared to December 2019.

In 2021, a total of 11.75 million new passenger cars were registered - down 1.6% year-over-year, and down 26% vs 2019 (pre-pandemic).

This is the background on which we can see surging plug-in electric car sales. According to the data, in December, the plug-in car share increased to a new monthly record of 29.3%. That's over 278,000.

"In December, low emissions vehicles also set a new monthly market share record with 29.3%. The popularity of PHEVs and BEVs were boosted by better availability at dealerships, and the continued efforts from governments to incentivise consumers to shift away from traditional segments. This level of growth meant that EVs accounted for a major portion of all new car registration in several markets, including Norway (90%), the Netherlands (64%), Sweden (61%), and Denmark (57%)."


In 2021, plug-ins noted about 2.25 million registrations (28 European markets), which is 19% of the total market. That's also 58% more than in 2020:

Top 10 best-selling models

December brought huge news, as the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car of any type, regardless of the powertrain, with 27,358 units. It's actually the second time, as the Model 3 was #1 also in September 2021.

The Tesla Model 3, multiple times was also in the top 3. A year ago, in December 2020, the Tesla Model 3 was #3 with 24,567 units, while the Volkswagen ID.3 was #2 with 27,997 units - however this year the ID.3 is not even close to repeating its result.

The Renault ZOE noted also a very good result - 11,181, but 32% lower than a year ago. The French company has nothing to worry about, as its Dacia brand has a new high volume EV - the Dacia Spring noted 8,125 units!

We can see also an outstanding result by Volkswagen e-up! (7,976) and the Tesla Model Y (7,870) completing top 5.

Among plug-in hybrids, the top three were Peugeot 3008 PHEV (4,229), Volvo XC60 PHEV (4,162) and Volvo XC40 PHEV (3,751).


JATO Dynamics noted that with two high-volume models, Tesla was able to achieve 35,230 new registrations, which is a new monthly record.

Not only that, it led to a new market share record of 3.71%, compared to 2.23% in December 2020, and 1.93% in December 2019.

Tesla is now bigger in Europe (at least in a peak month) than brands like Kia, Citroën and Fiat!

Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics commented:

“Tesla has weathered the current crisis in Europe’s automotive industry better than any other OEM.” The Model 3 led the model rankings while the Model Y also secured a place in the top 40 in December. The success of these two models alone has allowed Tesla to outsell established brands including Kia (12 models available), Citroen (10), and Fiat (7).

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