The Tesla Model Y topped Europe’s new car sales charts in February 2023 as registrations of battery-electric cars grew by 33%, to 118,329.
In total, just over 900,000 cars were sold in EU markets plus the UK, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in February, according to figures from industry analyst Jato Dynamics.
Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK all recorded double-digit growth rates, helped by the increase in EV sales. Only Cyprus, Finland, Norway and Sweden experienced a decline, with Norway “no longer contributing to the growth of BEVs in Europe”, according to Jato global analyst Felipe Munoz.
The increase in EV sales was thanks to competitive deals and offers in the market – with Tesla having cut prices by up to £8000 in the UK – as well as increasing buyer confidence in range and charging infrastructure.
The Model Y was followed in the EV rankings by the Volkswagen ID 3 with 5375 sales and the Volkswagen ID 4, with 5194. Jato noted that the Model Y’s success came at the expense of the Model 3 saloon, which recorded a 49% drop compared with February 2022. The best-selling plug-in hybrid was the Ford Kuga, recording 3396 sales.
Registrations of Chinese-built cars slowed, according to Jato, although MG sales grew 121% year on year, with 7591 sales. Volkswagen topped the brand rankings with 96,602 sales, followed by Toyota with 61,930 and Peugeot with 53,549.
The best-selling cars in Europe in 2023
1. Tesla Model Y, 18,446 sales, +173% year on year
The Tesla Model Y has reportedly been lauded by various industry giants – Ford and Toyota among them – for its design and production efficiency. No doubt helped by a January price cut of up to £8000, depending on specification, it sits at the front of the pack not just for EV sales but in the wider market. Ramping up production at Tesla’s Berlin, Germany, factory will be key to the firm securing its place at the top – rather than relying on imports batch-shipped from China and the US.
2. Dacia Sandero, 18,431 sales, +40% year on year
Last year’s second best-seller, the Dacia Sandero, maintained its place in February 2023. It’s bolstered by its exceptional value for money, which will have resonated with buyers as the cost of living crisis hit across Europe. That it’s also a competitive supermini, with a spacious interior and decent handling, makes it an especially compelling buy.
3. Peugeot 208, 16,180 sales, +10% year on year
The Peugeot 208 was 2022’s best-selling car in Europe, but it has yet to hit that pace this year. It rebounded from an 18% decline in January to grow by 10% year on year, with 16,180 sales. Expect it to challenge for the top spot once again as parts shortage ease, and as Stellantis works to resolve widely reported problems with logistics.
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