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PARIS: European new car sales hit their lowest level for a month of October since 1990 as a global shortage of semiconductors persists, industry figures showed Thursday.

New passenger car registrations have now fallen for four straight months in the 27-nation European Union, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, known as ACEA.

The group said 665,001 new units were sold in October, a 30.3 percent drop from the same month last year.

Sales fell by double-digits in most EU countries, with sharp drops in the region's four largest markets: Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

Europe car sales sink on chip shortage

The shortage of semiconductors, which power everything from anti-lock braking systems to airbags to parking assistance technology, has forced automakers to temporarily close some factories.

Global production of 7.7 million units will be lost in 2021 due to the chip supply crisis, costing the world's auto industry $210 billion in lost revenue, according to consultancy AlixPartners.

The consultancy's September forecast is almost double from its previous estimate in May.

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