SUVs take Europe by storm, now accounting for over half of all new car sales

SUVs take Europe by storm, now accounting for over half of all new car sales

No less than 6.63 million SUVs were sold in Europe last year and they now make up five of the 10 largest segments


BY Brad Anderson

3 hours ago

    SUVs take Europe by storm, now accounting for over half of all new car sales

European buyers, once vocal critics of North America’s seemingly insatiable appetite for SUVs and crossovers of every shape and form imaginable, have now come full circle, embracing the body type itself over traditional hatchbacks. sedans, wagons and MPVs.

This shift, driven by many factors such as evolving family needs and the rise of electrified options, has seen SUVs reach critical mass in Europe, becoming the dominant force not only in their respective segments, but also in the entire general market.

More: Europe’s SUVs are getting a lot wider, more roads and parking spaces

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The continued rise in popularity of SUVs and crossovers shows no signs of abating with the popular body style accounting for 51% of all new vehicles sold in Europe throughout 2023.

Data from Europe shows that around 6.63 million SUVs were sold across the continent last year, marking a significant increase of 19% compared to 2022. The small SUV segment emerged as the largest, with 2,159,427 sales, representing a 14% increase from last year. Compact SUVs followed closely behind as the second largest segment, with 1,904,669 sales.

European car sales by segment

According to Dataforce figures published by Auto News, SUVs now account for half of the 10 largest vehicle segments in Europe. Following the small SUV and compact SUV segments were small cars, with 1,730,015 sales, and compact cars, with 1,508,061 deliveries. The premium midsize SUV and premium compact SUV segments followed closely behind, with 834,939 and 721,376 units, respectively.

Demand for premium midsize SUVs outpaced all other market segments, driven primarily by the Tesla Model Y, which experienced an 85% increase in sales, reaching 254,822 units. The Mercedes-Benz GLC also saw a significant increase in popularity, with sales increasing by 32% to reach 91,259 units. Notably, 48% of all premium midsize SUVs sold last year were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), largely due to the Model Y’s impact.

Read: Americans love full-size SUVs, and the Pandemic helped turbocharge sales

Strong BEV penetration can be seen in many other vehicle segments. For example, 58% of all luxury sedans sold in Europe last year were electric with the Porsche Taycan leading the charge with 19,965 examples sold, more than double the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in second position with 9,992 sales. Additionally, 47% of mid/large SUVs sold were electric with the VW ID.4 leading the way.

The segments with the highest EV shares; Best-selling EV in every segment

  • Luxury sedan: 58% (Porsche Taycan)
  • Premium midsize SUV: 48% (Tesla Model Y)
  • Medium/large SUV: 47% (VW ID4)
  • Medium premium: 38% (Tesla Model 3)
  • Minicar: 24% (Fiat 500e)
  • Compact: 20% (MG4)
  • Premium compact SUV: 23% (XC40)
  • Small premium: 16% (Mini EV)
  • Large premium SUV 11% (BMW iX)
  • Big premium: 11% (Mercedes EQE)

Source DataForce

Vehicles from the VW Group led 12 of the 21 different segments tracked by Auto News, coming out on top in compact, midsize, coupe/convertible, small SUV and crossover, compact SUV and crossover, midsize SUV and crossover/ large, compact vans. , mid-size vans, premium compact, large premium, luxury sedan and premium coupe segments.

    SUVs take Europe by storm, now accounting for over half of all new car sales

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