French sales fall 35% in July on chip shortage, COVID

Automotive Industry

Source: Automotive News Europe, 2021-08-30

Registrations in France plummeted by about 35% in July from the same period in 2020, according to data from the country's automakers’ lobby CCFA.

Registrations were 115,713 in June 2021, CCFA said. Sales were down 33% compared with pre-pandemic levels in July 2019.

The French market is up by about 16% over the first seven months, the association said.

The CCFA said the global chip shortage and a new surge in COVID-19 infections are weighing on the prospects for a strong rebound in new-car sales.

The association currently forecasts growth in the range of 9% to 10%, but that could be revised down. "We think it might be difficult to achieve 1.8m of sales this year," a CCFA-PFA Spokesperson said on 1 August.

Last year, French registrations fell to 1.65m from 2.21m  in 2019 as the coronavirus pandemic brought car factories to a halt.

A lack of crucial semiconductors and uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic are affecting most automakers, including Renault and Stellantis. 

Another factor was the end of enhanced trade-in and low-emissions vehicle purchase incentives on 30 June. The incentives were put in place on 1 June 2020, as part of a multi-billion euro French government coronavirus relief plan for the automotive industry. 

Among volume brands, only Jeep recorded an increase, with a 35% gain. Among brands that did better than the overall market were Mini, down 2.1%; Volkswagen brand, down 9.7%; Hyundai, down 11%; and Audi, down 14%. 

Brands that recorded the biggest monthly losses were Mitsubishi, down 83%; Ford, down 61%; Renault, down 60%; and Fiat, down 50%.

At Stellantis group, in addition to Fiat and Jeep, Peugeot sales fell 36%, Citroen was down 35%, Opel was down 36% and DS lost 23%.

Renault’s budget brand Dacia saw sales fall by 21%.

At VW Group, Skoda sales were down 32% and Seat sales were down 30%.

BMW brand sales fell by 22%, Mercedes-Benz sales fell 16% and Volvo lost 33%. 

Among Asian brands, Toyota was down by 22%, Nissan lost 49%, Kia was down 30% and Suzuki fell 37%.

By powertrain, gasoline engines made up 42% of sales through July, with diesel at 23%. Hybrids (full hybrid and plug-in) made up 25% of the market, with plug-ins at 8%. Full-electric vehicles were 7.7%. 

CO2 emissions rose to 113 grams per km in July from 108 g/km in June.

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