Crossovers and SUVs reached a major sales milestone in the first six months of the year by accounting for more than half of total new vehicle deliveries in Europe for the first time ever. Their market share grew to 51 percent, representing a significant jump compared to the first half of 2022 when it was at 48 percent. Sales numbers collected by market researcher Dataforce show deliveries grew by 23 percent over H1 2022, reaching 3.37 million units.
Looking at the top 10 most popular SUVs in H1 2023, the Tesla Model Y was first with 138,152 units, or a whopping 207 percent more than in the same period of last year. The only other SUV that managed to generate over 100,000 sales was the Volkswagen T-Roc with 104,465 (up by 32 percent). Toyota nearly made it to the six-figure club with the Yaris Cross (96,849 units), representing an increase of 49 percent.
2022 Volkswagen T-Roc facelift
The top 10 was rounded off by the VW Tiguan, Dacia Duster, Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 2008, Kia Sportage, Renault Captur, and the Ford Puma. Overall, small SUVs were the most popular on the Old Continent in H1 2023, accounting for 1,133,822 sales, followed by compact SUVs with 999,568 sales, and small cars with 913,571 sales.
That doesn't mean regular cars are a dying breed since the Dacia Sandero still had a strong first half of the year with 124,190 units. In addition, the Opel Corsa, Peugeot 208, and Renault Clio were all sold in more than 100,000 examples. The Skoda Octavia had an excellent H1 2023 with deliveries jumping by 77.3 percent to 83,073 units after parent company VW Group solved the production bottlenecks. The Golf still beat its more practical and larger Czech sibling, at 88,899 units.
Several automakers have expressed their concern about the fate of small models – be they regular cars or crossovers/SUVs – if the Euro 7 standard will be applied in its current form in 2025. For example, VW has warned that tweaking combustion engines to meet the tougher legislation will result in price hikes that would make these vehicles too expensive. Consequently, cars like the Polo and Fabia face an uncertain future.