May 2020: post-pandemic recovery under way

The coronavirus is having a massive impact on vehicles sales around the world, but the latest information indicates that the post-pandemic recovery is under way. Global sales tumbled by 43% in April as most of dealers and consumers around the world were unable to do business due to the lockdowns. The massive drop had the expected effect on revenue and profits for the majority of OEMs.

The “good news” is that there was a slightly improvement in May, based on the data for 96 markets and estimates for the rest. Global sales totaled almost 5.2 million units, down by 31% compared to May 2019, when global markets bought more than 7.6 million vehicles.

Although it is a big drop, the result in May is definitely better than the one recorded in April. Actually, sales increased by 27% between April and May thanks to strong recovery in USA-Canada (+60%) and Europe-Turkey (+104%). As some governments started to relax the curfew measures, the dealers came back to work, and the industry is slowly returning to normality.

However, the data indicates that recovery is going to take a long time. China’s positive signs won’t be enough to offset the big drops and economic crisis that are due to hit Europe, USA and emerging markets. While all this happens, the OEMs try to adapt to the new conditions by closing factories, firing people and reducing their lineups.

Under the new normal, we will likely see some brands disappear, the slow-selling models dropped, and more collaboration/mergers/alliance between the OEMs. In my opinion, only those who have invested on alternative fuel vehicles without burning a lot of money, will prevail and gain traction.

Go to my Instagram or Twitter accounts to see the a wider version of the chart

Source: National Car Sales associations, own estimations, FGW database

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