Global SUV sales set new record in 2021, pushing back emissions reduction efforts – Analysis

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As the global economy has rebounded sharply this year, car sales have also rebounded. Globally, they are expected to grow 4% in 2021, according to automotive industry tracker MarkLines, reaching nearly 80 million and part of the huge decline they experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic. of Covid-19. In particular, sales of electric cars have continued to show resistance to volatility in the broader automotive market. In a few key automotive markets – such as Germany (over 34%), UK (28%), France (over 23%) and China (18%) – the market share of electric cars has reached record levels at the end of November1. To date, around 34 countries have announced policies setting a future deadline to ban new registrations of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. This has been accompanied by announcements from automakers such as Ford, Volkswagen and General Motors of plans to phase out ICE cars from their production lines. Yet even if global electric car sales in 2021 end up meeting the most optimistic expectations, SUV sales are still expected to be five times higher.

Global SUV sales have proven to be very resilient throughout the pandemic, increasing by more than 10% between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, SUVs are expected to represent more than 45% of global car sales, setting a new record in terms of volume and market share. SUV growth continues to be robust in several countries, including the United States, India and all of Europe. In some other countries, such as China, SUV growth is stagnating, mainly driven by the sharp rise in small battery electric cars.


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