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In April, car sales in Europe declined for a 10th consecutive month, with new registrations off 20 percent, year over year, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said, recording the largest drop this year.

Stellantis, the conglomerate that subsumed Chrysler Fiat, saw sales plunge 31 percent.

Italy lost more than a third of its sales, compared to a year earlier; France and Germany each lost more than a fifth.

Sales were damaged by rising vehicle prices and a shortage of parts, including wiring harnesses made in Ukraine, computer chips, and a range of components made in China, which has been under widespread lockdown for two months.

“Container ships are jamming up in Chinese harbors,” partner Peter Fuss at EY Parthenon, a consulting firm, said to Bloomberg “It will take months to normalize that bottleneck.”

Also, inflation has shrunk consumers’ buying power, curbing demand for ever-more-costly new cars.

The chip shortage will force some buyers to wait 18 months for their new vehicles to be delivered, Bloomberg reported. Volkswagen is sold out of all its all-electric vehicles this year in Europe and the U.S., chairman Herbert Diess has said.

Deliveries out of Europe’s auto factories will be 6 percent lower this year, falling below 10 million vehicles, research firm LMC Automotive said; in January, the firm forecast 9-percent growth.

“Global supply issues show no significant signs of easing, while underlying demand prospects are eroding, too,” LMC wrote this month in a report.

“Households will experience a serious squeeze to real income this year. Supply issues do remain the key determinant for registrations for now,” LMC analysts noted.

TREND FORECAST: It’s all about the bottom line. People are earning less money and skyrocketing inflation forces them to spend more to buy less. And the higher inflation goes up, the more it costs to buy what consumers need or want... and the more it costs the less they will buy, especially cars which are so expensive.  Thus, car sales will continue to shrink.

The facts are in the numbers. Yesterday, IHS Markit reported that the average age of a car on U.S. roads rose to 12.1 years in 2021. In 2020, when the COVID War was launched the average age of cars on the road was 11.9 years... and back in 2002, the average age was 9.6 years.


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