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Auto sales in Europe have fallen sharply due to shortages and it could be worse further – Volkswagen and Stellantis were hardest hit

The continuing shortage of semiconductor components continues to affect the European car market, and the latest events around Ukraine do not allow us to count on the normalization of logistics and production. In February, the number of new vehicle registrations in Europe fell by 6.7% to its historical low. Individual automakers have been hit much harder.

During February, European consumers registered fewer than 720,000 new cars, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, cited by Bloomberg . This is 6.7% less than a year earlier. If we take into account the UK and countries from the free trade zone, then the drop in the number of registrations will reach 5.4%. Over the past eight months, the European car market has continued to decline. According to Bloomberg Intelligence experts, this year the European car market will not be expected to recover, and instead of a five percent increase, it will show the result at the level of last year.

Geographically, the situation in February was not homogeneous. While in Germany and Spain the number of registered new cars increased slightly, in Italy and France there was a decrease by a double-digit percentage. According to Wells Fargo experts, due to the cessation of supplies of electrical wiring and other electrical products from Ukraine to European car assembly plants, the latter will not be able to produce about 700,000 cars in the current half of the year.

The Volkswagen concern has already warned that it will be forced to revise the production program for this year if it does not receive electrical wiring from Ukrainian enterprises within the next three or four weeks. The same automaker was among the hardest hit in February, with sales down 11.6%. It is only surpassed by the concern Stellantis NV, which reduced sales by 17.5%. February sales of Renault fell by 3.8%, while BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz increased them by 1.3% and 1.9%, respectively.

Asian manufacturers stood apart. If Toyota Motor in February increased sales in Europe by 4.7%, then Hyundai Motor raised them immediately by a quarter. BMW representatives at the reporting event yesterday said that they still refuse to revise the forecast for the year downward, despite the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis and the continued shortage of components. Experts believe that the events around Ukraine will have a more pronounced negative impact on the automotive industry in the coming months.

 source: Bloomberg



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