French Car Sales Drop 35% in July as Chip Shortage Crimps Supply
French car sales slumped 35% in July as a semiconductor shortage curbed inventory in one of Europe’s biggest markets.
France recorded 115,713 passenger-car registrations for the month, the industry group Plateforme Automobile said Sunday.
For the first seven months of the year, registrations rose 16% over the same period in 2020, when sales were depressed during the first wave of the pandemic.
The sluggish result is a further indication that Europe’s auto-industry recovery is slower than the rebound seen in the U.S. and China. The latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed almost 2 million fewer cars were sold in the region during the first half compared with two years ago.
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Renault SA on Friday forecast disruptions in the supply of chips would curtail output this year by about 200,000 vehicles, double a previous estimate. It sold 1.42 million vehicles worldwide in the first half, down almost a quarter from the same period in 2019.
The caps on output have frustrated manufacturers like Volvo and Stellantis NV, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen brands that goes head-to-head in the French market against Renault.
“We are very sad to see we have a stellar order book and are struggling to deliver," Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told the Detroit-based Automotive Press Association in July.