EU car sales hit their lowest point for June since 1996

EU passenger car registrations are still tanking as the industry hit its lowest sale numbers for the month of June since 1996, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said in its monthly report.

Only 886,510 units have been registered, representing the 12th consecutive year-over-year drop in sales. New car registrations in the first half of 2022 have decreased by 14 percent compared to 2021.

The decline in June was felt in virtually every EU market. Germany posted a steep 18 percent drop, with other big markets such as France and Italy falling by 14.2 percent and 15 percent respectively.

The numbers also show that Volkswagen AG is worst off among major automakers. Registrations of the German car giant dropped by 24 percent compared to one year ago.

Shortages of semiconductors was one of several big hurdles for car production during the pandemic. The industry has yet to overcome supply constraints, according to LMC Automotive, a consultancy. Rising material and energy costs further increased vehicle prices and pressure on the industry.

Some carmakers are shifting their strategy to make the most of this tricky situation, focusing on high-end cars to sell fewer but with higher margins. Volkswagen increased its profits in 2021 by 75 percent to more than €15 billion, while sales fell by 600,000 units.