Car sales plunge; US, China, Europe and India report decline – Community News
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Car sales plunge; US, China, Europe and India report decline

Passenger car sales fell across the globe in October as the crippling shortage of semiconductor chips rages on. Most prominent automakers confirmed a challenging game play, blaming a shortage of critical components as the main driver of sales, even as demand in many markets remains quite robust.

While Covid-19 has presented major challenges, the global auto industry is currently gripped by an unprecedented shortage of semiconductor chips – a critical component in modern vehicles and many consumer electronics. The impact of this shortage is not uniform, but rather ubiquitous.

US car sales

Major manufacturers in the US saw sales fall by varying margins last month from figures from the same month in 2020. Total auto sales were forecast to fall 20%, but individual OEMs reported different numbers.

Ford, for example, recovered, but sales were still down 4%. Hyundai, Kia and Honda saw sales fall for the third straight month. “Every car manufacturer has had a hard time. There has been some gradual improvement over the past month, but we’re actually talking about a very marginal improvement,” Garrett Nelson of investment research firm CFRA told Market Watch.

Car sales in China

What is happening in China also has a deep-seated impact on the global automotive scenario. It is, after all, the largest car market in the world. But while official figures are not yet available, the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) estimates that car sales would fall by nearly 12% in the month of October.

The Chinese economy is showing signs of slowing down and there are concerns about two key sectors: real estate and auto. And any production hits will also have a direct impact on overseas markets as the facilities here serve as a base for OEMs exporting to other countries.

Car sales in Europe

It’s been tough for automakers across Europe with several months of slide reported. For example, the situation has been where the prices of used vehicles have in some cases exceeded the price of the brand new version in the UK. There just aren’t enough new vehicles to meet the demand in many countries here.

Take the case of Spain.

File photo used for representative purposes.
File photo used for representative purposes. (AFP)

According to Automotive News Europe, new vehicle sales here fell 21% to 59,044 units. Sales in the month fell by a higher 37% compared to the same month in the pre-pandemic year 2019. 2021 is therefore labeled a “black year” by many industry groups here.

Also in France, sales fell by 31%, with 118,521 units sold last month. While companies such as Hyundai, Dacia and Jeep achieved positive figures, other power players such as Renault Group, Volkswagen Group and Stellantis Group reported significant sales declines.

It was the same sad story in Germany, where new car sales fell by about 34% last month. The challenge is real and is being felt in many other countries on the continent.

car sales in india

October always brings a lot of revelry in India and the auto industry tends to be merry while the celebrations last.

Not this year.

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) recently highlighted that the current holiday season in the country is the worst in a decade in terms of car sales. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai – two of India’s largest passenger car players – reported a major drop in sales in October. Others hardly do much better.

As in many other parts of the world, demand remains quite strong, but production and supply-related emissions – mainly caused by parts shortages and rising input costs – are a double whammy.

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