Car sales across Europe plunged to
their lowest level on record in October, the European Automobile Manufacturers’
Association (ACEA) said on Thursday.
Registrations of new vehicles
dropped 29% to 798,693 cars, with total sales for the first ten months of 2021
a mere 2.7% higher than for the same period in 2020.
The drop comes amid lingering
semiconductor supply shortages, triggered by renewed outbreaks of Covid-19 in
Southeast Asia and resulting in manufacturing delays, as well as port closures.
Despite the recent drawbacks, carmakers say the chip crunch is finally showing
signs of easing, but it will continue to some extent well into next year.
“We’re getting by. We’re trying
to deal with it. I hope we’re through the worst,” Herbert Diess, CEO of
Volkswagen – the EU’s biggest car manufacturer – said at a conference in Berlin
earlier this week.
Volkswagen saw a 42% decline in
deliveries in October compared to the same time last year, the worst among
European manufacturers, while Fiat and Peugeot producer automaker Stellantis
saw a 32% drop.
Given the current figures, market
researchers suggest annual European car sales for 2021 are likely to miss even
last year’s pandemic-affected levels, when global sales plunged nearly 15