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COVID-19 and its Impact on the Automotive Sector

Despite increased lockdowns due to the Omicron variant, inventory shortages are weighing more heavily on the automotive market. Sales remained weak in December, finishing almost 13% down YoY, and marking the sixth successive month of YoY decline for the global market. The weakening demand picture first became apparent in July as the chip shortage began to whittle away inventory with many OEMs forced to slow or shut down production.

How did COVID-19 impact the sales outlook of the automotive sector for 2022?

Omicron does not appear to bring as much risk to the 2022 outlook as one might have thought just a month ago. While more transmissible, the strain is less virulent, and these factors combined with high immunity either from vaccinations or virus infection are expected to bring less direct effect on economic activity as governments respond with policy actions. Additionally, as has been observed, markets are generally more resilient to lockdown shock than they once were, largely due to the initial efficacy of vaccine programs.

A combination of both vaccination programs and adjustment to lockdowns meant there was less of an effect on vehicle sales even when we were amid the Delta variant. So far, with Omicron seemingly less virulent, and despite increased lockdown restrictions it seems that inventory issues are outweighing lockdown effects as a driver of market volumes at present.

It remains an inverted situation in markets at present – market levels are led by production. While there is a decent level of demand in markets at present some macroeconomic storm clouds are gathering. Pressures from energy costs and inflationary sources are rising. This could bring a slowing in demand before chip supply is realigned. On the flip side, fiscal stimulus is still abundant in many economies and personal mobility needs are high.

Which regions were covered for analyzing COVID-19 impact on the automotive sector?

This report discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive sector in the Asia Pacific, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America.

Impact of COVID-19 on the automotive sector, by region

Impact of COVID-19 on the automotive sector, by region

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Market Report Scope

Regions covered Asia Pacific, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America

Decision-makers are faced with tough choices regarding COVID-19, but an explosion of conflicting information and views on what to do. It is more important than ever to separate fact from fiction, the subjective from objective, and use trusted, timely, and actionable data and insights.

Reasons to Buy

This report has been extracted from GlobaData’s regularly updated online Automotive Intelligence Center. Containing content, tools and services not found in this report, GlobalData’s AIC offers a cost-effective multi-user car market research solution.

Table of Contents

Sales results and outlook

List of Tables

China, Japan, West Europe and the US: light vehicle sales indexed versus Covid Stringency Index

Global light vehicle sales and SAAR

Global light vehicle sales forecast by quarter 2020 versus 2021

First signs of markets returning to more of an even keel as supply constraints begin to ease?

COVID-19 base light vehicle sales (millions)

Industry recovery slowed by supply issues but macroeconomic issues beginning to surface

Global light vehicle sales and SAAR forecast

Jobs index – daily listings

Automotive M&A activity index

News sentiment index

Financial filing index

Automotive Composite Index versus Global Light Vehicle SAAR index

News Sentiment versus Global Light Vehicle SAAR index

List of Figures

List of Tables

China, Japan, West Europe and the US: light vehicle sales indexed versus Covid Stringency Index

Global light vehicle sales and SAAR

Global light vehicle sales forecast by quarter 2020 versus 2021

First signs of markets returning to more of an even keel as supply constraints begin to ease?

COVID-19 base light vehicle sales (millions)

Industry recovery slowed by supply issues but macroeconomic issues beginning to surface

Global light vehicle sales and SAAR forecast

Jobs index – daily listings

Automotive M&A activity index

News sentiment index

Financial filing index

Automotive Composite Index versus Global Light Vehicle SAAR index

News Sentiment versus Global Light Vehicle SAAR index

Frequently Asked Questions

This report discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive sector in the Asia Pacific, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America.

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