May brought a 2.7% decline in car sales in Europe. However, some brands achieved strong results, while the Chinese brands expanded their market share.

According to Dataforce's data (via Automotive News), Volvo was among the biggest winners, with 32,826 new sales, 27% higher than a year ago. This enabled the company to improve its position to 14th overall, compared to 17th in May 2023.

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Volvo EX30 Sales Record

In May, Volvo sold over 11,000 EX30s. It's now one of the best-selling Volvo models globally and one of the best-selling all-electric cars in Europe.

Volvo noted such a big gain primarily because of the relatively affordable all-electric Volvo EX30. The company sold more than 11,000 last month, most of them in Europe.

The China-made Volvo EX30's surge is not something the European leaders would like to see. Considering that the Chinese carmakers increased their combined market share in May to 2.5%, compared to 2.3% a year ago, this explains the incoming tariffs for China-made electric cars. The Volvo EX30 model will be produced in Europe starting in 2025, potentially paving the way for the local production of the EX90.

Many European manufacturers are struggling, and local production is endangered. Even Tesla, with its highly successful, locally produced Tesla Model Y, is struggling right now. The period of smooth expansion is over.

According to Dataforce, Tesla's sales decreased 37% to 17,953 units in May. That's enough to make it the 20th brand in the ranking, compared to 16th a year ago.

The situation seems challenging because Tesla plans to halt production at the Giga Berlin factory for five days in June after shutting down one day in May, the article says. This would suggest weakened demand. If the China-made Model 3 gets higher tariffs as soon as July 4, the situation will not be any easier.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Gigafactory Berlin Germany

Tesla Gigafactory Berlin Germany

Volkswagen, the largest car brand in Europe, increased its sales in May by 2.9% to more than 117,000, although the world's eyes are on Toyota.

The Japanese brand, focused on hybrids, increased sales by 7.2% to 70,205 units, partially thanks to a 47% increase in RAV4 sales. Toyota is the second most popular brand in Europe, indicating that hybrids were the right decision from a business standpoint.

In Q1 2024, Toyota's sales were 71% electrified. For Lexus, it was 93%, which means that only 29% of cars sold were internal-combustion engines without any electrification. We don't have the latest sales data, but Toyota is also increasing its all-electric car sales.

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