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Automotive: European sales collapsed by more than 20% in April

With 684,000 new vehicles sold, in the midst of a shortage of electronic chips, it was the weakest month of April recorded by ACEA since the start of the statistical series in 1990, excluding the exceptional case of 2020, at the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

Among the main markets, Italy collapsed by 33%, Belgium by 23.6%, France by 22.6%, Germany by 21.5%, or Spain by 12.1% . Close to the EU, the UK market fell by 15.8%.

The European market has just experienced the four worst months in its history (still excluding 2020), with 2.9 million vehicles sold (-14.4% over one year).

Since the spring of 2021, the automotive market has been held back in Europe and America by a series of logistical problems, including a shortage of semiconductors. These electronic chips, mainly manufactured in Asia, are essential for the manufacture of telephones and laptops, but also cars which carry ever more technology.

-31% for Stellantis over one year

With chip supply stabilizing, ACEA predicted a rebound in auto sales in the second half of 2022, but the war in Ukraine dampened that optimism.

Despite falling sales figures, manufacturers reaped profits in the first quarter on the back of rising car prices. But their sales figures continued to decline in April.

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The European leader Volkswagen fell by 28% over one year, with a sharp decline in its main brand, Skoda and Seat. His runner-up Stellantis lost 31%, with significant declines at Peugeot and Opel-Vauxhall, in particular.

Only the Korean group Hyundai-Kia continued to grow on the European market (+13.2%), overtaking the Renault group (-16.3%) with more than 10% market share. BMW-Mini fell by 17.6%, Toyota by 7.4%, and Mercedes by 22.6%.

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