The first part of 2021 has been tough, and the European car industry is still struggling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In April, new car registrations soared 261% compared with the same period last year, according to the latest data from Jato Analytics.
However, demand is still far from pre-pandemic levels and the 1,029,008 vehicles registered across the 27 EU markets during the month is 23% less than in April 2019.
Jato said: “These results indicate that recovery is going to be slower than many may have expected, and in the short term, this will not offer much encouragement to OEMs already busy dealing with the challenges of adapting to emissions compliance.”
EVs and SUVs continued to be the main drivers of growth for the market. EVs posted a market share of 15% in April 2021, compared to 11% in April 2020. Demand for pure electric models increased by 338% to 71,500 vehicles, and plug-in hybrid registrations grew 507% to 81,000 vehicles.
The market has also been boosted by strong demand for individual models, such as the Volkswagen Golf, the Toyota Yaris and the Peugeot 208, which has taken over the top spot as Europe’s best-selling car.
Here are the best-selling cars in Europe in April 2021:
1 Peugeot 208 18,387, +347%
The latest-generation 208 arrived in Europe in summer 2019 and, thanks in part to an attractive £16,250 starting price and its well-received styling, has become a fixture among Europe’s best-sellers. Couple that with healthy demand for older 208s (Jato figures include models of all generations registered, not just the latest versions) and it’s no surprise the supermini is performing so well and returns, after a few disappointing months, to the top of the bestseller list.
2 Peugeot 2008 18,328, +584%
In February, the 2008 crossover came second on this list; this month, it also shows strong. Registrations have increased a whopping 584% on April 2020, consolidating an 51% increase in February. This gives it the second biggest year-on-year increase of all the cars in the top 10 – an achievement that would be impressive in any context but is especially remarkable against the backdrop of widespread market trouble and low consumer demand due to Covid-19.