Market analysis: How the passenger car market is faring in 2020 and beyond

As markets across the world slowly start to recover, what does the road ahead have in store for the automotive sector? We take a look at the latest data and predictions.

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The automotive market is experiencing challenging times as a result of Covid-19. Light vehicle sales were down by a fifth in the first quarter of this year compared to 2019, with export and deep sea volumes declining.

Carmakers’ plants across the world are now gradually re-starting with new restrictions in place to protect the health of employees, but recovery is expected to be slow.

So what does this mean for the automotive industry? We’ve gathered the latest data on the market from industry experts. Click through the gallery below for insights from IHS Markit:

Global light vehicle sales per quarter: Units

Global light vehicle sales per quarter: Units

Global light vehicle export per quarter: Units

Global light vehicle exports per quarter: Units

Latest IHS forecast estimates global LV sales to drop 22% in 2020 overall

Latest IHS forecast estimates global LV sales to drop 22% in 2020 overall

Covid-19 status update: Auto

Covid-19 status update: Auto

The figures tell their own story. Globally, total sales of light vehicles in the first quarter decreased by 20.7% compared to the same period last year. Total sales of light vehicles in the first quarter were also down 23.9% from Q4 2019. Total exports of cars decreased 12.9% in the first quarter compared to last year, while total exports of cars in the first quarter were down 17.2% compared to the final quarter of 2019.

What are some of IHS Markit’s predictions for the automotive sector in 2020?

  • Global light vehicle sales could drop by 22% this year compared to 2019.
  • IHS Markit expects sales of light vehicles to total 70.3 million in 2020.
  • Deep sea light vehicle volumes could decline from 14.9 million to 11.4 million in 2020 – a drop of 23% compared to 2019. This estimate may be further revised downward.
  • Deep sea volumes could take until 2023 to recover to 2019 levels.
  • Light vehicle sales could take until 2024 to recover to 2019 levels.

At Wallenius Wilhelmsen, our focus is on supporting automotive customers during this period of recovery and ensuring a safe return to normality. We’re continuing to operate sailings across our global shipping network and operations at our vehicle processing centres to serve demand.

As automotive manufacturers restart production and gradually increase manufacturing output, we will adapt our service levels to meet the needs of carmakers everywhere.

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