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New cars: twelfth month of decline for the French market


LSales of new cars fell by another 10% in May in France, a twelfth consecutive month of decline in a market paralyzed by the shortage of electronic chips, according to figures published on Wednesday by the Automotive Platform. The sector recorded 126,813 registrations, a decrease of 10.09% over one year, despite two days of additional activity. While spring is supposed to be a strong time for car sales, “the results are not good at all. The shortage of semiconductors continues to slow deliveries”, commented François Roudier of the Automotive Platform, which brings together the builders.

2022 worse than 2020?

Over the first five months of 2022, the market fell by 16.92% with 600,897 registrations. Sales of light commercial vehicles also fell by almost 25%, to 147,161 registrations from January to May. “It is hard to see how we could take back the vehicles lost in the second half,” underlined François Roudier. The year 2022 could turn out to be worse than the year 2020, half paralyzed by the Covid-19.

Since the spring of 2021, the automotive market has been held back in Europe and America by a series of logistical problems, including a shortage of semiconductors. These electronic chips, mainly manufactured in Asia, are essential for the manufacture of telephones and laptops, but also for cars which increasingly incorporate more technology. This context benefits hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines, which represent 28.6% of sales over the first five months of the year, and electric vehicles (11.9%).

Peugeot 208 tops sales

All manufacturers are affected by the fall in deliveries, while their order books are full: the market leader Stellantis is down 22.15% since the start of the year, with in particular a sharp decline in Citroën and Peugeot , despite its solidly installed 208 compact at the top of sales; the Renault group fell by 15.45%, the Volkswagen group by 22.12%. Ditto at BMW, Toyota, Ford and Mercedes. Tesla also recorded a sharp decline in its deliveries in May, linked to the rebound of the epidemic in China, where some of its vehicles are manufactured. Hyundai-Kia continues to play the Korean exception, with sales up 23% over the month, and 7.70% since the start of 2022.