European new car registrations increased for the third month in a row in October as electrified vehicles surpassed one million units for 2022, with the market said to be recovering from the long-running semiconductor crisis.
Registrations of all cars across 27 European markets totalled 903,533 units last month, according to Jato Dynamics, compared with 790,652 in October 2021, for a year-on-year increase of 14%.
A total of 1,103,055 electrified vehicles have been sold so far this year, making up 23% of all European car sales.
However, year-to-date sales of 9.09 million units are down 8% on pre-pandemic 2020, when 9.67 million units were sold between January and October.
Jato attributed the drop to a reduced volume of new cars and economical and geopolitical uncertainty.
“The impact of the shortage of new cars at dealerships, alongside economic and geopolitical uncertainty, has been more damaging to sales volumes than the lockdowns of 2020,” said Jato global analyst Felipe Munoz. “As OEMs adapt to this new reality, consumers are also understanding that they face longer waiting times than they used to for new cars.”
However, Munoz also said the year-on-year increase was positive, indicating the industry may finally be recovering from the global semiconductor shortage that has engulfed new car sales over the past year.
“In October 2021, the market was facing the worst of the semiconductor crisis, but one year on, it has understood the challenge and is learning to deal with it,” said Munoz.
Some 119,600 of the cars sold in October were electric for a year-on-year volume increase of 13%, while 88,200 plug-in hybrids were sold, representing a 13% increase.
Volkswagen was October’s best performer, with a market share of 12.7%, while the entire Volkswagen Group accounted for 25% of all sales on the continent. The Volkswagen ID 4 and Volkswagen ID 3 were the month’s best-selling EVs.
October's best-selling cars in Europe
1 Peugeot 208, 17,075, +23%
The Peugeot 208 retakes the top spot for October with 17,075 sales. There’s more good news for Peugeot, as that figure represents a growth of 23% year on year. The popularity of the 208 is no doubt helped by extensive revisions in line with Peugeot's new design language. The car's versatility and affordable price remain attractive, as it's offered with petrol, diesel and electric powertrains.
2 Volkswagen Golf, 17,038, +96%
Now well into its eighth generation, the Volkswagen Golf continues to be one of the top-selling cars in Europe. The model jumped up from seventh to second place in October, proving that its popularity still endures. Its latest line-up features pure-ICE, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with performance models ranging from the Golf GTE to the four-wheel-drive Golf R.
3 Dacia Sandero, 16,147, -18%
Sales of the affordable Dacia Sandero supermini dropped 18% year on year, but it was still the month’s third-most-popular car. It became an even more appealing buy last year with the introduction of a new-generation model, featuring much-improved equipment such as LED headlights and a touchscreen infotainment system. It has previously topped this list, so expect it to challenge until the end of the year.
4 Fiat 500, 16,117, -4%
Is there a more recognisable small car than the Fiat 500? It’s been on sale since 2007 and it’s unlikely to be dropped any time soon. More recently, the model gained an electric variant with a battery size of up to 44kWh. Range is pegged at 199 miles, but mild-hybrid and petrol models remain on sale if electric isn’t your bag.
5 Toyota Yaris, 16,039, +141%
The Yaris has been a mainstay in the top 10 this year, retaining its popularity four generations into its life. It’s still Toyota’s most successful and biggest-selling model in Europe, and a sporty GR performance variant continues to hold up as one of the finest hot hatches ever built.
6 Volkswagen T-Roc, 13,378, +11%
The T-Roc is still performing well, but it has dropped since it was named July’s best seller earlier this year. It stayed in sixth place for the second month running. It’s been around since 2017 but its continued popularity reflects its versatile mix of petrol and diesel powertrains, as well as the more recent introduction of a performance-oriented flagship R model. You can even get a convertible version.
7 Renault Clio, 13,167, -8%
The Clio is Renault’s best-selling car for October and enters this list in seventh place. The supermini has plenty to offer, including petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains, and its tech has only got better with each passing generation.
8 Citroën C3, 12,248, +6%
Yet another compact city car in the top 10. The Citroën C3 stands out as an affordable choice for European buyers, with 93 customisation options and some tempting gadgets for the price tag. Citroën enjoyed a volume boost of 6% year on year, with a total of 12,248 units sold.
9 Toyota Yaris Cross, 12,079, +165%
This seriously compact crossover only went on sale a few months ago in Europe, but it’s already making waves in the top 10. Toyota sold 12,079 Yaris Cross cars in October, for an excellent 165% rise year on year. We liked the model’s enjoyable driving dynamics, efficiency and eye-catching looks, but it’s not the cheapest option out there.
10 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, 11,560, +1%
The Corsa is almost as popular in Europe as it is in the UK. The revamped supermini had a successful 2021, and its continued success in 2022 partly reflects the ability conferred on it by its PSA-developed underpinnings and mix of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains.