The worst car sales performance in Europe since 1990

Car sales in the European Union fell to a new record last year on the back of the COVID-19 outbreak and a shortage of electronic chips, industry data showed Tuesday.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association reported that sales fell by 2.4 percent to 9.7 million vehicles sold in 2021, the worst performance since statistics began in 1990.

This comes after a historic decline in car sales of about 24 percent in 2020 against the background of restrictions imposed by the epidemic, which led to a decline in new car registrations in the European Union to 3.3 million less than pre-crisis sales in 2019.

The shortage of semiconductors, the computer chips used in many car systems, both conventional and electric, was the main reason for the sector’s decline.

While car manufacturers initially played down the impact of the lack of chips, it later slowed production and sometimes led to factory shutdowns.

Car sales in the European Union rebounded strongly in the second quarter of the year, but fell by about 20% over most of the second half of 2021.

A shortage of chips is among the repercussions of the epidemic, as manufacturers have been affected by the closure measures and the infection of employees with the virus, as well as the disruption of supply chains and the increasing global demand for electronic equipment.

The epidemic also led to a significant increase in the prices of many raw materials, and caused a shortage of labor in some areas.


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