Chip shortage slows down Belgian car sales
The shortage of chips and production delays in factories are now also being felt in Belgian car sales.
Belgian car sales have had another weak month. 36,536 new cars were registered in February, 22 percent less than a year earlier. This is evident from figures from the Belgian automotive federation Febiac.
The partial closures of showrooms and the economic uncertainty have been troubling the car market since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. For the first time, Febiac states that sales are also ‘negatively affected by the current delays in vehicle production’. The federation thus refers to the worldwide scarcity of chips, of which new cars need dozens of pieces.
We are having a very difficult time.
Due to the production delays, the delivery of new cars is also stopping. Volkswagen, for example, saw its sales in Belgium fall 35 percent last month, while premium subsidiary Audi wore half as many cars as its victorious competitor BMW. “It is very difficult for us,” admits Denis Gorteman, the CEO of the Belgian VW importer D’Ieteren. ‘The bad numbers are due to production, not orders. The biggest problem is the delivery time, both for parts and for new cars. I fear that the problem will persist in the first semester. ‘
Daimler, Mercedes’ German parent company, has also suffered from chip delivery problems. But in Belgium, Mercedes, which lost 28 percent of its sales in February, says it has no impact. “In our case, the production delays have nothing to do with semiconductors,” says spokeswoman Helen Van Nuffelen. ‘We are running into delays as a result of the covid epidemic, which caused our factories to be temporarily closed. We are still clearing that backlog. ‘