Because it is the third largest automotive market in the world behind China and the United States, we will analyze car sales in Europe during 2018, which remained stable, since there were 15.6 million vehicles sold, only 346 more than in 2017.
This small growth was enough for the European market to see its best result since 2007 when it reached its peak with 16.02 million vehicles. A very interesting fact, which shows consumer preferences, is that diesel vehicles registered their lowest market share since 2001.
By countries, the solid results of Spain, Poland, and the Netherlands stood out, while the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden had a decrease in their car sales. Likewise, Poland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, and Lithuania recorded record volume levels, while it was the best year since 2007 for Spain and Estonia, and the best year since 2008 for Romania, Hungary, Croatia, and Latvia.
It also stands out that most of the registered vehicles were powered by gasoline engines which represented 57 percent of all sales. This result marks an increase of 7 points in the market share in 2017 and an increase of 12 points in the last 10 years.
Regarding alternative energies, electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars registered 944,800 units sold and a market share of 6.1 percent. In particular, most of the growth was driven by pure electric vehicles, which were sold more than hybrid plug-in vehicles.
Despite growing at a slower pace than in previous years, the shift from traditional cars to SUVs continued in 2018. In total, 5.4 million SUVs were registered in Europe throughout the year, 19 percent more than in 2017.
By models, the Volkswagen Golf was once again the best-selling car in Europe, however, it registered a drop of 8 percent, mainly due to a large drop in its sales of diesel cars.
The table of the most sold cars in Europe during 2018: