In Europe, car sales are at their lowest

In Europe, car sales are at their lowest

A Hyundai Kona assembly line employee tested prior to taking office on April 7, 2021, at the Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic.

It looks like a small dip, it’s actually a free fall. Car sales in Europe hit a historic low again in 2021, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported on Tuesday, January 18: 11.77 million new passenger cars were registered in 2021 in wider Europe (26 EU countries). [UE] United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland).

This level represents a decrease of 1.5% compared to 2020 (- 2.4% for the European Union alone), but it is a significant decrease compared to the 15 million cars sold more or less each year in Europe, during the decade, before the pandemic crisis of 2020. And we have to go back five And thirty years – to 1986 specifically – to find data below current levels, according to Inovev Statistics, a specialized information and analysis of cars.

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For France alone, the trend is similar. With 1.66 million new cars sold – that’s +0.5% compared to the previous year – the level of 2021, like 2020, corresponds to the 1975 market, down 25% compared to 2019. In other words, sales of 500,000 cars evaporated in 2021 in France compared to the average year. If the hole in 2020 is caused by the complete shutdown of vehicle production and distribution in the spring due to the global shutdown, the main reason for the lack of recovery in 2021 is the great difficulty in supplying computer chips that eventually began in 2020, peaked in the fall and continues today.

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“This fall is the result of the semiconductor shortage, which has slowed car production throughout the year, and more specifically in the second half of the year”, ACEA explained in a press release accompanying the publication of the recordings. Globally, experts estimated this fall that about 8 million vehicles will eventually not be manufactured in 2021 due to shortages, about 10% of global production. Extrapolating this data to Europe, we arrive at a production shortfall of 1.5 million cars on the Old Continent.

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All manufacturers were affected in their supplies, but some managed the crisis better than others, which is reflected in a real recovery in their sales. This is the case of the South Korean group Hyundai-Kia, which scored rudeness +21%, and Toyota (+10%). On the other hand, some bore the brunt of the crisis, such as Ford (19%), Nissan (14%) or Daimler (11%). The Renault group, which fell by 11%, recently explained that the shortage prevented it from producing 500,000 cars in 2021.

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