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The microchip crisis and economic uncertainty mark a 12% drop in passenger car sales in April

The registrations of passenger cars and SUVs registered a decrease of 12.1% in April compared to the same month of the previous year, with a total of 69,111 units. The microchip crisis together with the slow economic recovery, now accentuated by the uncertainty derived from the international context, are being fundamental factors for the evolution of the demand for new vehicles. In the first four months, a drop of 11.8% has already accumulated, with 233,509 units.

The average CO2 emissions of cars sold in April are 121.8 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled, 4.4% lower than the average emissions of new cars sold in April 2021.

The strong decline in the rental channel, with a drop of 40.6%, is a significant factor in determining the slow evolution of the market. For its part, the channel for individuals and companies, although they also fell, suffered a less pronounced decrease. In the last month, sales to individuals decreased by 1.4%, with 28,942 units, while purchases from the business channel fell by 2.9%, with 28,111 units.


In April, 9,361 light commercial vehicles were registered, which represents a sharp drop of -41% compared to the same month of 2021. The main drop occurred in the van and combi segment, which fell by 36%. As for sales by channels, all of them accumulated a strong decrease of over 35%, both in self-employment and companies and renters.


Registrations of industrial vehicles, buses, coaches and minibuses grew by 8.6% and 1,929 units in April 2022. Both bus and coach sales, with 183 units, and microbuses, with 30 registrations, achieved an increase in the fourth month, with an improvement of 84.8% and 57.9%, respectively, compared to the same month from last year.


Aránzazu Mur, director of the area of ​​economy and logistics at ANFAC, explained that “the last month, although it achieved the best figure this year, it is still lower than what the Spanish market should register. The slow entry of vehicles into the points of sale, caused by the microchip crisis and a demand that is increasingly conditioned by economic uncertainty, are making recovery difficult. We are going through a difficult economic context for consumers, which has been reflected in the low growth of the individual and business channel, which barely boosted the evolution of sales and delayed their purchase decision. The recovery of the market must be a priority to avoid losing the relevance that the sector contributes to both GDP and employment in our country”.

Raúl Morales, communication director of FACONAUTO, indicated that “Holy Week has left fewer days for sale in April, which has intensified the bad vehicle registration data that we had already been dragging in the first quarter. The sensations are not good, because in addition to the lack of supply, since there is still not enough stock, in April a lack of demand has also been clearly seen. The families feel that the context, with an economic recovery on hold due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine, is not the best to buy a vehicle and they delay their visit to the dealers. Today, with the April data in hand and if there is no change in trend, the market would end 2022 barely exceeding 800,000 registrations, something that we should all look at with great concern, due to the implications it is already having for the competitiveness of our sector and for the recovery of the rest of the economic activity, due to the dynamic force that the automotive sector has”.

According to the communication director of GANVAM, Tania Puche, “the market continues without raising its head. In fact, we have not seen a month of April with a similar volume of registrations since the last decade, with which we return to records of the economic crisis of that time. In a context of lack of supply, in which more cars over 15 years old than new ones are already being sold, the renovation of the park becomes a key point to promote decarbonisation. In this sense, in addition to promoting electrification, much more active and effective scrapping policies are needed, above all, aimed at these older vehicles”.

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