All the EU’s four largest markets grew, with the strongest gains in Italy (+23.1%), Germany (+19.2%), and France (+14.8%).

From January to May 2023, the EU car market grew by 18%, to 4.4 million registered cars. Although the market improved in May, year-to-date sales are still 23% lower compared to the same month in 2019, when 5.7 million units were registered. In this five-month period, there were double-digit gains in most markets, including the four largest: Spain (+26.9%), Italy (+26.1%), France (+16.3%), and Germany (+10.2%).

Electric cars

Last month, new registrations of battery electric cars in the EU experienced a significant boost, rising by 70.9% to reach 129,847 units. This equates to a market share of 13.8%, and a four-percentage-point increase compared to May 2022. Most EU markets recorded impressive double- and triple-digit percentage gains, including the four largest: the Netherlands (+118.4%), Sweden (+82.6%), France (+48.7%), and Germany (+46.6%). Overall, this resulted in a cumulative increase of 50.5%, with over half a million units sold from January to May.

Petrol and diesel cars

In May, the EU market for petrol cars grew by 12.6% to reach 342,806 units. Despite this, market share stood at 36.5%, nearly two percentage points less than in May 2022. Growth was mainly driven by increases in the four largest EU markets, most notably Italy (+23.9%), France (+18.3%), and Germany (+17.6%). From January to May, more than 1.6 million petrol cars were sold in the EU, a remarkable 17% increase from the same period in 2022.

In contrast, the EU diesel car market declined by 2.9% last month, despite performing well in two of the bloc’s largest markets: Italy (+24.3%) and Germany (+3.6%). Diesel cars now account for 14.3% of the EU market share, down from 17.4% in May 2022.