Car sales held back by chip shortage and COVID measures

Cars drive on the road during the morning rush hour in Beijing, China July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

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SHANGHAI/BERLIN, May 26 (Reuters) – Car sales in China, Europe and the United States remain depressed from last year’s levels as semiconductor shortages and anti-pandemic measures are weighing on global auto markets, according to data released Thursday.

Retail car sales in China rose in May from April but were still down 16% year-on-year, according to the China Passenger Car Association, which called for more government support for the industry . Read more

In Europe, data from car consultancy JATO showed new car sales down 20%, with electric vehicles (EVs), which many automakers have prioritized amid supply chain problems. supply, also down 1.4%.

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The fall was driven by a 15% drop in sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, whose environmental credentials are increasingly scrutinized by European regulators. Read more

In the United States, total sales fell 21% year-on-year, according to a Deutsche Bank study, with sales last year increasing due to a post-lockdown release of the repressed request.

“We expect sales to recover sequentially throughout the year,” the report said.

Overall, China’s first-quarter car sales rose 0.2 percent from a year ago, the data showed. In contrast, year-to-date sales in Europe were down 13% from JATO’s figures, to their second-lowest level since 1991.

Yet other economic data out of China paints a picture of an overwhelming economic recovery and only partial anti-pandemic measures.

Road freight and express delivery from fulfillment centers last week were both stronger than a month earlier, but still down sharply from a year ago, Nomura Global Economics said.

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng (9868.HK) is ramping up deliveries after resuming double-shift production in mid-May at its factory in the southern city of Zhaoqing, company chairman He Xiaopeng told reporters. analysts this week.

Tesla (TSLA.O) added a second shift at its Shanghai factory on Thursday, heading towards manufacturing 2,600 cars a day, a person familiar with the matter said.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Victoria Waldersee in Berlin; Editing by Bradley Perrett, David Evans and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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