Light Vehicle Production Could Drop By 20% Globally In 2020

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Passenger car production around the world is expected to drop more than 20 percent to around 71 million units this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recession industry experts are now expecting will follow.

This type of decline could end up costing carmakers 19 million units in lost production, according to LMC Automotive. The forecaster also warns that the projections could slip even more based on how quickly major regions recover.

In North America alone, car companies have had to delay launches or planned ramp-ups for several new nameplates such as the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, updated Jeep Grand Cherokee or GM’s newest full-size SUV models, reports Autonews.

LMC also expects sales to bottom out in April for both North America as well as Europe, as the post-pandemic recovery is “unlikely to be rapid” in the coming months. China meanwhile already restarted most of its car factories, which is why their sales decline is only expected to hover around the 12 percent mark for this year, added the automotive forecaster.

Some industry experts believe that all major regions have already entered into an economic recession, and that a swift recovery is no longer realistic at this point. Still, others believe that an upturn could happen by the end of the year, if governments are quick to react.

Germany for example already decided to reopen its car dealerships nationwide starting this week, a move that had been eagerly anticipated by auto lobby groups.