European car sales at lowest since 1996 after 12 months of decline

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Vauxhall cars are transported on a lorry in Luton, Britain March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

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BERLIN, July 15 (Reuters) – Europe recorded the lowest number of new passenger cars in June this year since 1996, with just over 1.06 million vehicles, as some automakers saw sales drop nearly 50%, according to data from the European Automobile Association. Friday.

The Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE) was the hardest hit major automaker with nearly a quarter less sales than last June. In the first half of the year, however, Stellantis saw the biggest decline yet at 21.1%.

Among the smaller brands, Volvo’s (VOLVb.ST) new registrations fell 47.9% in June and 28.5% in the first half, while Jaguar Land Group saw a smaller drop in June to 13 .2%, but the strongest this year so far at 34.7%.

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Inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, rising coronavirus cases in some countries and a continued shortage of chips are just some of the issues plaguing the region’s auto industry, which has now recorded 12 straight months of decline.

Major automakers from BMW to Stellantis have in recent weeks reported falling sales around the world ahead of their second-quarter results later this month.

The four main markets of the European Union – Spain, Italy, Germany and France – saw a decline in car registrations.

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Reporting by Victoria Waldersee Editing by Miranda Murray

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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