Global light vehicle market to see 17.2% decline in 2020, says GlobalData 

The world’s light vehicle market is forecast to decline by 17.2% to 73.6 million units in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic fallout, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This is a bigger one-off shock than witnessed in the two years of the global financial crisis. GlobalData’s analysis suggests that the damage to the global market will turn out to have been most acute in the second quarter of this year, when strict lockdown measures were in place across the world.”

GlobalData’s forecast sees Q2 down around 34% down on last year’s pace and way below the 2008 Q4 low point reached during the last big global downturn.

MacRae continues: “Vehicle markets are on the turn as we get into the second half of the year – China’s light vehicle market was up in May and June. In Europe we are seeing some improvement to vehicle markets now, too, helped by government subsidies for new vehicle purchases. One area of considerable uncertainty for the second half of the year is the US light vehicle market outlook.

“Increasing infection rates in three key US sales markets – California, Texas and Florida – means that stronger headwinds are a real threat. We are seeing the reopening of the economy being reversed in some places – such as California – and this creates some uncertainty in terms of negative impacts on vehicle sales.

“As a result, there is some downside risk to GlobalData’s US light vehicle market forecast for this year, which currently stands at 14.5 million sales, down 15.2% on 2019.”

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