Car sales in France plummet due to chip shortage
Car sales in France fell sharply in July compared to the same month last year. This is partly due to the worldwide chip shortage that the automobile sector is facing, reports the French trade association Plateforme Automobile.
In total, 115 713 new cars were registered last month, compared with 178 980 a year earlier. However, in the first seven months of 2021, 16% more cars were sold in France than in the same period last year. But crossing the two million mark of new cars sold over the year now appears very difficult.
Sales level of the 70s
In July, car sales in France were 32,81 % lower than in 2019 and 35,35% lower than in 2020. Again, it is a sign that the European car industry is not recovering as quickly from the corona crisis as in the United States and China. “We’re in a market that’s not picking up,” François Roudier, both the Automotive Platform (PFA) representing French manufactures (formerly the CCFA), told AFP.
Sales received an extra boost in July last year when dealer showrooms were allowed to open again. These had been closed for a while due to the measures taken to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
The market remains morose
In addition, there are fewer new cars on the market because of the shortage of semiconductors. Renault expects to produce 200 000 fewer cars this year than it would like due to chip shortages. Stellantis, the company behind brands like Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Fiat, and Chrysler, will provide insight into its performance over the past six months this Tuesday. The Italo-French-American group announced earlier that it is having difficulties delivering.
For the month of July, for example, Stellantis is down 39,57% compared to July 2019 with a sharp decline in its Alfa Romeo (-70,45%), Citroen (-48,24%), and Fiat (-50,57%) brands. The Renault group is down by 34%.
Foreign manufacturers are also down: the Volkswagen group by 27,47% and its compatriot BMW by 17,72%. However, Toyota (-12,94%) and Hyundai (-0,60%) show an increase over the first seven months of 2021 compared to 2019, of 1% and 4,66% respectively.
One in three sales is electric
Regulatory changes, such as the announced end of internal combustion engines, are also affecting consumer behavior. Despite the reduction in bonuses granted for the purchase of electrified models (from 2 000 to 1 000 euros on 1 July), this type of engine had continued to gain ground in recent months.
They accounted for almost one in three sales in the first half of the year, compared with 18% in 2020. Among purely electric models, the Tesla Model 3 remained the best-selling car in France in July for the fifth month in a row, ahead of the small Renault Zoé. It confirms the Model 3’s leading role all over Europe in June, as JATO Dynamics reported.