Supply chain problems further hobbled the EU auto industry in April, data showed today, with sales falling by a fifth from the same time last year.

A lack of computer chips has frustrated automakers for over a year with certain parts imported from Ukraine also now posing problems for manufacturers.

New passenger car registrations in European Union "saw a significant drop" of 20.6% in April "as supply chain issues continued to weigh heavily on car production," the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) said.

A total of 684,506 units were sold during the month in EU countries.

"With the exception of the pandemic year in 2020, this was the weakest April result in terms of volumes sold since records began," the ACEA said.

All the major markets registered considerable drops, with sales in Italy down by a third, and both France and Germany off just more than a fifth. Spain was down by 12.1%.

Over the first four months of the year, sales were down 14.4% from 2021.

All European automakers saw huge drops in sales in the first four months of the year, with market leader Volkswagen registering a 18% fall.

Stellantis, merged from France's Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat-Chrysler, suffered a 26% drop in sales.

South Korea's Hyundai Group, which includes the Hyundai and Kia brands, overtook France's Renault for the number three spot in the EU in April by posting a 10.8% jump in sales for the month.