French car sales slump 16 percent in first six months of 2022

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The entire European car market has been adversely affected by supply shortages. With the lack of computer chips still hobbling production, new auto sales in the first half of the year slumped to 4.6 million in the European Union.

France has seen new car sales decline by 16.3 percent in the six months to the end of June.

Italy has done worse, with a collapse of 22.7 percent. The figures have been 11 percent in Germany and 10.7 percent in Spain. Sales in non-EU Britain fell by 11.9 percent.

For the past year the automobile industry has been plagued by a lack of computer chips that control many vehicle systems, as chipmakers have been unable to keep up with demand as the world economy rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the situation with computer chips is improving, European car sales were hit by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a number of component manufacturers were located there.

Economic uncertainty triggered by the war, the spike in prices it has caused, along with rising interest rates may hinder a recovery in sales as consumers cut back on spending.

VW still in the driving seat

Volkswagen retained its place at the top of rankings, but the German group’s market share slipped from 25.8 to 24.1 percent during the first half of the year. Sales fell by 19.4 percent to 1.35 million vehicles.

Stellantis also saw its market share fall, sliding from 21.3 to 19.4 percent as sales by the European-American automaker plunged by 21.1 percent to 1.09 million vehicles.

Hyundai-Kia meanwhile saw its sales jump 12.6 percent to 556,369 vehicles, helping the Korean manufacturer expand its market share from 7.6 to 9.9 percent.

Renault saw its sales slide by seven percent to 522,315 vehicles. But the French group nevertheless saw its market share climb from 8.7 to 9.3 percent.

The only manufacturer to register an increase in sales in Europe in the first half of the year was Honda, but it sold just 37,113 vehicles and held less than one percent market share.

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