German Car Sales Fell Last Year to Lowest in More Than Three Decades
(Bloomberg) -- Auto sales in Germany skidded last year to the lowest since at least 1990 as the chip supply crisis thwarted hopes for recovery from the pandemic.
New-car registrations plunged 27% in December, the country’s vehicle authority KBA said Wednesday, leaving sales for the year at 2.62 million vehicles. That’s 10% lower than an already poor 2020, when the initial outbreak of Covid-19 shuttered factories and kept buyers away from showrooms.
Automakers from Volkswagen AG to Stellantis NV are hoping the semiconductor shortage will gradually ease this year but have warned supply will remain tight in the first half. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz said this week it will keep in place a task force to help ease any bottlenecks that risk disrupting production.
The numbers from Germany are in line with weak year-end figures across the region. New-car registrations in Spain fell by almost a fifth in December, while Italy’s sales dropped by more than a quarter, putting the industry on course to come up short of 2020’s disastrous showing.
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