Data from Globaldata unit LMC Automotive shows that the West European annualised car market selling rate dropped to 8.8 million units/year in April, from 9.0 million units/year in March, with supply chain bottlenecks still the key reason for the depressed level of registration statistics.

LMC also said the war in Ukraine, as well as lockdowns in China, will likely exacerbate supply issues, meaning vehicle sales will continue to suffer from a lack of adequate supply.

Overall car sales in Western Europe declined by 20.9% to 741,006 units. So far this year, sales are 13.7% off last year’s first four months’ pace, at 13.22 million units.

In Germany, the selling rate fell even further in April, to 2.0 million units/year, from 2.4 million units/year previously. The UK PV selling rate increased to 1.7 million units/year last month, from 1.2 million units/year in March. For France, the selling rate fell to 1.2 million units/year, from an already disappointing 1.4 million units/year previously. In Spain, the selling rate increased to 787k, from 574k units/year the previous month, though demand is still poor by historical standards. Finally, in Italy, the selling rate remained at 1.1 million units/year last month.

LMC’s forecast for 2022 has been cut since last month and now sees a year-on-year contraction for the West European market. LMC’s forecast for West Europe’s car market in 2022 now stands at 9.95 million units, 6% below 2021.

LMC analyst Jonathon Poskitt told Just Auto that the global supply issues show no significant signs of easing, while underlying demand prospects are eroding too.

“Consumer confidence in the eurozone has nosedived in the last two months, now at a level not seen since the initial emergence of the pandemic in 2020,” he said. “Households will experience a serious squeeze to real income this year.”