SUVs Dominate Over Half of European Car Sales

European SUV Sales Rise by 19% in 2023, Claiming Majority Share of New Car Market

The long foreseen moment has at last come to fruition. It is common knowledge that SUVs are in high demand – in the United States, they outdo other vehicle categories in terms of sales, including pickup trucks. A similar trend can be observed in Europe, but a concerning and alarming statistic emerged in the Old World for 2023. SUVs were not only the top-selling vehicle type, but they also surpassed all other categories put together.

It was not a surprise for us when initial figures indicated the SUVs’ dominance last year, but recent data from Automotive News Europe confirms that they have indeed surpassed half of all vehicle sales in 2023. In particular, SUVs and crossovers accounted for 51 percent of new vehicle purchases, leaving sedans, trucks, wagons, and hatchbacks with the remaining market share. This marks a significant 19-percent rise from the previous year, with the Tesla Model Y taking the lead as the top-selling vehicle globally for 2023. To put this into perspective, sales of the Model Y alone rose by an impressive 85 percent in the region.

It cannot be denied that the roads of Europe are not being dominated by large SUVs. In the past, it was small hatchbacks that reigned supreme, but now they have been replaced by small SUVs. According to Automotive News Europe, these compact and efficient vehicles are in high demand, with a total of 4.1 million units sold. Despite this, the statistics reveal that premium SUVs experienced the biggest growth, up by 31 percent and reaching a staggering 843,939 sales. Considering the impressive performance of luxury brands in the previous year, it is no surprise that this trend has emerged.

Although Tesla has been quite successful with their Model Y, it is not the top-selling vehicle in the United States. Overall, SUVs outsell trucks by a significant margin, but Americans still show a strong preference for full-size pickups. For decades, the Ford F-Series has held the top spot in the US market and 2023 was no exception, with an impressive sales number of 750,789 units, representing a 14.8 percent increase from the previous year. In second place was the Chevrolet Silverado, selling 555,148 units, followed by its crosstown rival, the Ram, which took third with 444,936 truck sales. The most popular SUV in America, however, landed in fourth place, and surprisingly, it was not a Tesla. The Toyota RAV4 claimed this title instead, with 434,943 sales, edging out the Tesla Model Y, which came in at an estimated 403,987 units sold.

Source: Automotive News Europe

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