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Car sales slump 14% in six months – Report

European auto sales slumped by 14 per cent in the first half of this year, data showed Friday, as supply shortages continued to plague manufacturers.

With the lack of computer chips still hobbling production, new auto sales slumped to 4.6 million in the European Union, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association showed.

Sales in Italy tumbled by 22.7 per cent, by 16.3 per cent in France, 11 per cent in Germany and 10.7 per cent in Spain.

Sales in non-EU Britain fell by 11.9 per cent.

Sales also fell by 15.4 per cent in June compared to the same month last year, the eleventh consecutive monthly drop.

For the past year the automobile industry has been plagued by a lack of computer chips that control many automotive systems, as chipmakers were unable to keep up with demand as the world economy rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the situation with computer chips is improving, European car manufacturers were hit by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a number of component manufacturers were located there.

Economic uncertainty triggered by the war, the spike in prices it has caused, and rising interest rates may hinder a recovery in sales going forward as consumers cut back on spending on big-ticket items.

Volkswagen retained its place at the top of the rankings, but the German group’s market share slipped from 25.8 to 24.1 per cent during the first half of the year. Sales fell by 19.4 per cent to 1.35 million vehicles.

Stellantis also saw its market share fall, sliding from 21.3 to 19.4 per cent as sales by the European-American automaker plunged by 21.1 per cent to 1.09 million vehicles.

Hyundai-Kia meanwhile saw its sales jump 12.6 per cent to 556,369 vehicles, helping the Korean manufacturer expand its market share from 7.6 to 9.9 per cent.

Renault saw its sales slide by seven per cent to 522,315 vehicles. But the French group nevertheless saw its market share climb from 8.7 to 9.3 per cent.

The only manufacturer to register an increase in sales in Europe in the first half of the year was Honda, but it sold just 37,113 vehicles and held less than one per cent market share.

AFP

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