Canadian Plastics

Global vehicle sales will drop 18% under extended COVID-19 lockdown scenario, report says

This forecast comes from a new report from market research firm IHS Markit.

April 15, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Research firm IHS Markit is projecting an 18% drop in global new vehicle sales year-on-year (YoY) under an extended COVID-19 lockdown scenario to 73.3 million units.

These and other results were published in the company’s April 7 “Automotive Rapid Response Report – COVID-19.”

Regionally, this will result in a 26% U.S. vehicle sales decline YoY to 12.6 million units; a 17% Europe vehicle sales decline YoY to 17.1 million units; and a 14% China vehicle sales decline YoY to 21.8 million units.

The U.S. has seen a 30% decline in national registration volume in March 2020 over February 2020, IHS Markit said. “Half of the United States is now seeing a [month-on-month] new vehicle registration decline of 25% or greater from February into March,” it said. “As April unfolds, there will likely be a further decline as more states move to tighter consumer and business restrictions.”

Also, IHS Markit said that the 40% chance of an extended lockdown forecast reflects immediate impacts of new containment measures that have been announced globally and expanded within countries already confronting the virus. A stronger economic response in 2021-2023 pushes global growth above 3% annually.

A 15% probability of an extended lockdown with ineffective stimulus scenario contains stringent virus-fighting efforts lasting into the third quarter of 2020. Stimulus measures prove ineffective at backstopping crisis and unemployment rates spiral. Recovery begins later and at a much slower rate than anticipated. Global vehicle sales in this scenario collapse by more than 20% to 71.2 million units.


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