Car sales in Europe plunge 20% in April due to supply chain issues, dashing hopes of recovery

The chip shortage that is holding automakers back is lasting longer than expected and is forcing some buyers to wait 18 months for some in-demand models. Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said last week that the company is completely sold out when it comes to electric cars this year in the United States and Europe.

Diess and Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius hope to see the semiconductor supply improve in the second half of this year. But hopes for recovery in the coming months also depend on factors such as the possibility of further disruption from the war in Ukraine.

Global supply chains are also starting to feel the effects of China’s zero-tolerance approach to fighting the coronavirus.

“Container ships are stuck in Chinese ports,” says EY Automotive Team Partner Peter Fuss. “It will take months to normalize this bottleneck.”

The winners

Besides Dacia, the other brands that bucked the downward market trend are Hyundai, Kia and Honda.

Hyundai’s sales rose 14% to 41,227, boosting its market share to 5% from 3.5% in the same period last year.

Kia’s volume jumped 13% to 47,725 and its market share climbed to 5.7% from 4.1% in April 2020.

Honda announced a 30% gain last month.

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