AlixPartners Global Automotive Outlook reveals Europe is on the verge of being squeezed out of the global automotive market, as Chinese brands are set to double European market share by 2030

02 July 2024
  • While recent EU tariffs on Chinese brands offer some breathing space to European manufacturers, the limited reprieve is only temporary;
  • Traditional European automotive manufacturers and dealers are faced with having to revolutionise the way they develop and sell products to compete – simply evolving is no longer enough.

LONDON (2 July 2024) – AlixPartners, the global consulting firm, today published new research from its 21st annual Global Automotive Outlook, revealing that European automotive brands are seeing their light vehicle market share in Europe eroded, primarily by Greater China. 

The research predicts that Chinese brands will double their share of the European light vehicle market by 2030, increasing their share from 6% (in 2024) to 12%. North America is also set to increase its share of the European light vehicle market from 10% in 2024 to 11% in 2030. Meanwhile, the share occupied by European brands is predicted to shrink by 5% by the end of the decade, reducing from 64% in 2024 to 59% in 2030.

Andrew Bergbaum, Global Co-Head of the Automotive & Industrial Practice at AlixPartners, commented:

“While recent EU tariffs on Chinese brands offer some breathing space to European manufacturers, the limited reprieve is only temporary. The announcement of nine Chinese manufacturing plants being built or planned in Europe will only accelerate the extent to which Chinese brands manufacture their products within Europe. This will create more competition in a sector that is already over-capacity, leading to large scale disruptions of existing manufacturing sites as they rebalance their resources.

“In the meantime, any short-term slowdown of Chinese electric vehicle sales into Europe is likely to contribute to many countries across Europe undershooting on their Green Deal targets. We anticipate that battery electric vehicles will only form 68% of European light vehicle sales by 2035.”

According to the Global Automotive Outlook, the challenges for Europe extend beyond the rivalry between European and Chinese brands. Europe also faces being outpaced by Greater China this year in terms of the total growth of light vehicle sales made within each market.

In 2024, Greater China is predicted to occupy 44% of global light vehicle sales growth, North America is expected to occupy 31%, and Europe is only predicted to occupy 13%.

By 2030, the Automotive Outlook predicts that light vehicle sales will have grown by 3% in Greater China. In sharp contrast, Europe is only predicted to see a 1% increase in its light vehicle sales by the end of the decade, boosted slightly by activity in Eastern Europe.

Andrew Bergbaum added:

“A new and disrupted way to develop and sell a car is now emerging, led by Chinese brands and their start-up culture. If they are to compete, traditional European automotive manufacturers and dealers will need to completely reinvent the way they do business – simply evolving is no longer enough. 

“While Europe’s recent slowdown in growth has been exacerbated by its reliance on Greater China for batteries and challenging import conditions, the answer to Europe’s problems is much greater than near shoring. 

“We are at a point in time when cars are needing to be engineered differently, with traditional engineering methods no longer cutting it. Vehicles often need to be able to receive live data over the air, offer advanced drive assist systems and customisable features, and in some instances, incorporate real-time data computing. 

“There is also much to be learnt from the rapid product gestation, integrated supply chains, consumer-centric sales, aggressive expansion and competitive pricing that is reshaping market dynamics in China and is set to underpin the future of the global automotive industry.”

About AlixPartners

AlixPartners is a results-driven global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses successfully address their most complex and critical challenges. Our clients include companies, corporate boards, law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and others. Founded in 1981, AlixPartners is headquartered in New York, and has offices in more than 20 cities around the world. For more information, visit


Pippa Miller-Jennings
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