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PARIS: European new car sales fell to their lowest level for a month of September since 1995 as a global shortage of semiconductors hit supply, industry data showed on Friday.

The global auto industry has been severely affected by a lack of chips that are key components for vehicles, forcing several major brands to temporarily shut down factories.

European Union car sales had rebounded in September 2020 as countries emerged from pandemic lockdowns.

But new car registrations fell by 23.1 percent to 718,598 in September 2021 compared to a year ago, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, known as ACEA.

"This decrease in sales was largely caused by a lack of supply of vehicles due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage," the ACEA said in a statement.

Sales sank by a quarter in Europe's top economy and car powerhouse Germany, 32.7 percent in Italy, 20.5 percent in France and 15.7 percent in Spain.

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