Car sales in European Union face worst year since 1990
Car sales in the European Union touched a new low in 2021 as the auto industry staggered due to the pandemic and the ongoing semiconductor shortage, industry figures revealed. A fall of 2.4 per cent was observed in the registration of new passenger cars in the region at 9.7 million units, which is the worst figure since the statistics began in 1990, showed data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
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Reasons such as the dearth of semiconductors and computer chips that are used in conventional and electric vehicles are being cited for this major plummet. “This fall was the result of the semiconductor shortage that negatively impacted car production throughout the year, but especially during the second half of 2021," stated the ACEA.
Car sales in the region though rebounded strongly in the second quarter, however, for most of the second half they were down by around 20 per cent. Automakers’ production capacities were hit due to the chip crisis leading them to slow production and even idle factories.
With the beginning of 2022, the short-term perspectives for supplies are not up to the mark. “The start of 2022 will still be difficult in terms of supplies of chips," said Alexandre Marian at the AlixPartners consultancy, as per a report by AFP. He added that though the situation is expected to improve in the mid-year, issues concerning raw materials, supply chains and labour shortages may impact the production.
As automakers reveal their sales for 2021, one can observe that not many were able to achieve positive results. Though Volkswagen managed to retain the top spot, a 4.8 per cent fall in sales to 1.4 million vehicles caused its market share to dip to 25.1 per cent. Renault suffered a massive drop of 10 per cent with sales of its eponymous brand plummeting by 16 per cent, while sales of both its Dacia brand and Alpine brands saw a growth. Stellantis too suffered a fall of 2.1 per cent drop to 2.1 million units while Daimler registered a decline in sales by 12.4 per cent. German automaker BMW managed to get a 1.5 per cent increase in registrations.
(with inputs from AFP)