Global vehicle market recovery on track, says GlobalData

After an unprecedented pandemic-induced reversal in 2020, the global vehicle market is firmly in recovery phase in 2021, according to the latest analysis by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “April’s light vehicle sales have now been reported for all global markets. They show an 83.4% year-on-year overall increase, which was not unexpected due to the impact COVID-19 had on the prior year’s sales. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales (SAAR) came in at 88.4 million. Together with March’s stronger result, April showed the global market recovery is on track.”

However, the global new vehicle market recovery this year hides mixed trends at regional level. Demand for new vehicles is surging in the US, even as forecasts for Europe are downgraded.

MacRae continues: “An index of SAAR, shows that West Europe is furthest removed from the January 2018 base, while the US market has undergone the shallowest impact from COVID-19. Indeed, the US market continues to perform above expectations.

“The US market is currently fuelled by the fiscal stimulus and a sense of FOMO among consumers. The fear is driven by dealer stock being depleted to historic lows due to the chip supply issues that have plagued production in the industry in the first half.”

GlobalData figures also show solid new vehicle demand this year in China, although the West European market is undergoing a patchy recovery. April’s West European new vehicle sales came in at around the same level as the prior month, but markets have been roiled by ongoing COVID-19 population movement restrictions.

MacRae concludes: “Our latest forecast for the world – at 86.1 million light vehicle sales for the year – still sees 2021 as being some 3.3% shy of 2019’s total, but don’t be too surprised if the market ends up closer to 2019 than many currently forecast.”

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