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The dearth of chips holding automakers back is lasting longer than expected and forcing some buyers to wait 18 months for certain in-demand models. Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said last week the company is completely sold out with respect to electric cars this year in the U.S. and Europe.

Diess and Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius are hoping to see semiconductor supply improve in the second half of this year. But hopes for recovery in the coming months also hinge on factors including the potential for more disruptions linked to the war in Ukraine.

Global supply chains also are starting to feel the effects of China’s zero-tolerance approach to curbing the coronavirus.

“Container ships are jamming up in Chinese harbors,” says Peter Fuss, a partner at EY’s automotive team. “It will take months to normalize that bottleneck.”

The winners

Along with Dacia, the other brands that bucked the market’s downward trend included Hyundai, Kia and Honda.

Hyundai’s sales rose 14 percent to 41,227, boosting its market share to 5 percent from 3.5 percent during the same period last year.

Kia’s volume jumped 13 percent to 47,725 and it market share surged to 5.7 percent compared with its 4.1 percent share in April 2020.

Honda reported a 30 percent gain last month.

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