One of the worst months since the height of the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020 was that in April new car registrations across the European Union fell by more than 20 percent.
Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show that 684,506 new cars were sold in the European Union last month, compared to 862,443 units sold in April 2021. When the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) included sales of Iceland, Norway, and the United Kingdom with Switzerland, total sales reached 830,447 as of April. It was down 20.2 per cent from 1,040,027 vehicles sold across the region in the same month last year.
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As of January-April, 2,930,366 new cars were sold across the EU. This is a significant drop of 14.4 percent from the 3,422,714 registrations recorded in the first four months of 2022.
Some car manufacturers have hit harder than others across Europe. Sales of the Stalantis model, for example, fell 32.1 percent last month to 207,455 units from 202,306 units. Similarly, sales of the Volkswagen Group fell 27.1 percent from 230,038 to 167,786.
Elsewhere, sales in the Renault Group fell 18.2 percent, Toyota 3.6 percent, the BMW Group 20 percent and the Mercedes-Benz fell 21.2 percent from 53,088 to 41,841. Ford reported 18.1 percent drop in sales in April, while Volvo fell 20.7 percent and Mazda a huge 32 percent.
There were some car manufacturers who were able to increase sales in April. Probably the most notable was Hyundai Group whose sales increased by 10.8 per cent from 65,073 to 72,095. Kia reported 14.7 percent growth while Hyundai itself recorded a 6.5 percent bump in sales. Similarly, Mitsubishi and Honda reported sales growth of 11.9 percent and 33 percent, respectively, but with only 5,629 Mitsubishi models and 4,077 Honda models sold, they remained relatively small players.
Supply chain problems and inflationary pressures are the main reasons behind the shrinking of new car registration numbers across Europe. LMC Automotive Predictors has slashed estimates for Western European passenger-car sales to less than 10 million units this year.
“Global supply problems show no significant signs of easing, although the potential for underlying demand is diminishing,” LMC recently wrote. “Families will feel a serious pressure on real income this year. Supply issues remain the main determinants for registration for the time being. “