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Europe new car sales slumped in April on supply chain woes

Europe new car

Registrations in the EU, Britain and the EFTA fell 20 percent to 830,447 in April, the industry association ACEA said Wednesday, the steepest decline this year

Europe’s new-vehicle sales shrank for a 10th month in a row as the industry remains mired in supply-chain crises that are stoking record inflation and threatening to put off car buyers.

Registrations in the European Union, Britain and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) fell 20 percent to 830,447 in April, the industry association ACEA said Wednesday, the steepest decline this year.

Stellantis, the automaker formed last year from the merger of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was hit hardest among major manufacturers with a 31 percent drop because of big sales declines for its Peugeot, Citroen, Opel/Vauxhall and Jeep brands.

Volkswagen Group fell 28 percent, with the VW and Skoda brands sliding more than 30 percent each.

Renault Group slipped 16 percent, helped by a 7.9 percent sales increase from it budget Dacia brand last month.

Issues constraining production – chief among them being the global semiconductor shortage – have led forecasters at LMC Automotive to cut their estimate for Western European passenger-car sales each of the last four months.

They now expect annual deliveries to shrink 6 percent this year to less than 10 million units. In January, LMC was calling for almost 9 percent growth. Automakers have managed to make up for lost volume by charging higher prices, though it’s unclear how much higher they can go.

Global supply issues show no significant signs of easing, while underlying demand prospects are eroding, too, LMC wrote in a report this month. Households will experience a serious squeeze to real income this year. Supply issues do remain the key determinant for registrations for now.

Across Europe’s biggest markets, Italy posted the sharpest decline, contracting by a third, while registrations in Germany and France dropped by more than a fifth.

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