Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened the headaches of carmakers’ car production following cuts due to a shortage of microchips.
Sales of new cars in Europe fell to their lowest level in February as supply chain disruptions continued to affect the sector.
Registrations fell by 5.4% to 804,028 in the EU, EFTA and UK markets, according to data released by the ACEA industry association.
This is a steeper drop than the 2.4% drop in January and extends the industry’s downturn to eight months.
Market leader Volkswagen Group saw a 12% drop in registrations, with all brands except Porsche down.
Porsche’s sales rose 8.1%, while VW’s volume fell 17%, Skoda’s 12%, Seat’s sales fell 10% and Audi’s 3.5%.
Stellantis sales fell 18%, Peugeot 24%, Alfa Romeo 23%, Fiat 22% and Citroen 19%, Jeep registrations 7.8% and Opel 7.6%. DS Automobiles earned 13 percent.
Problems continue for carmakers
Renault Group registrations fell by 3.8%, Dacia sales increased by 14% and Renault by 13%.
Hyundai Group stood out with a gain of 25%, the Hyundai brand increased by 26% and Kia by 25%.
Among other Asian brands, Honda registrations rose 68%, Toyota rose 4.8%, Lexus gained 3%, while Nissan volume fell 25%.
The Mercedes-Benz brand gained 3% and BMW fell 4.4%.
After a shortage of microchips has caused continuous production shutdowns over the past 12 months, carmakers are preparing for more production disruptions due to supply chain problems exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“European demand for cars was already high before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to production shutdowns and a shortage of components, which will further delay the recovery of European car sales in 2022,” said several industry experts.
While markets, including the UK, Germany and Spain, reported an increase for February, Italy and France recorded double-digit declines.