European sales of new cars rebounded by 13.9% in 2023, driven by hybrid and electric cars, but also by gasoline models, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) announced on Thursday (January 18).

The French, Italian and Spanish markets notably posted double-digit increases compared to 2022. Germany, the continent’s largest market, however, marked a halt in December (− 23% over one year) with the end sudden purchase bonuses for electric cars.

Overall, after three very complicated years, the end of the shortage of electronic parts has allowed the automobile industry to resume deliveries. But the market remained sluggish, slowed by inflation, particularly towards the end of the year.

Hybrid cars primarily benefited from the market recovery, with more than 2.7 million units sold (29.5 over one year) and 25.8% market share. Electric cars also continued their conquest (37% over one year) and reached 14.6% market share, overtaking diesel for the first time over an entire year (13.6%), which continues to decline. Battery cars accounted for just 9.1% of sales in 2021, and 1.9% in 2019.

While the sale of thermal engine cars will be banned in Europe in 2035, all manufacturers have strengthened their offering of hybrid and electric cars. But gasoline cars were also able to benefit from the market rebound (10.6% over one year), particularly in Italy and Germany. They still represent 35.3% of European sales, with 3.7 million units.

The rebound in the European market was driven by its leader, the Volkswagen group, with 2.8 million cars sold (18% over one year), and by the Renault group (number three in sales with 1.2 million units , 16.9%). European number two, Stellantis, remained closer to its 2022 figures, with 1.9 million cars sold (2.9%), and declines for its Fiat and Citroën brands in particular.