European sales rose 13% in June as pandemic recovery continues

New-car sales surged in Europe in June, rising for the fourth month in row, as sales continued to recover from the low level reported last year when coronavirus restrictions shut dealerships.

Registrations rose by 13 percent year-on-year to 1.28 million vehicles in the European Union, Britain and European Free Trade Association, according to data from industry association ACEA, published on Friday,

Among brands, the monthly winners included Hyundai, whose registrations rose 75 percent, and Jaguar, which gained 55 percent. Kia and Mazda each reported 47 percent increases.

Losers included Renault brand, down 24 percent, and Ford, which slipped 20 percent.

In the first half, registrations rose 27 percent to 6.49 million cars, remaining well below levels the industry was accustomed to prior to the pandemic.

Europe’s slower pace of vaccinations and longer-lasting measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 kept a lid on sales early in the year, while the global shortage of semiconductors also constrained automakers’ ability to maintain inventories.

“With the further easing of lockdown measures and subsequent support from an improving economic backdrop, selling rates should pick up over the second half of this year,” analysts at LMC Automotive said in a report.

“Risks lie on the downside, as the semiconductor supply shortage threatens to disrupt the post‐lockdown rebound in demand,” LMC said.

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