2020 Ain't Looking Bright, According to Moody's

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2020 aint looking bright according to moodys

The growing spectre of coronavirus, an illness currently knocking on every country’s door (and waltzing past the threshold of many), has led Moody’s Investor Service to take an axe to global car sales projections.

On Wednesday the firm erased earlier predictions of a mild cool-off in 2020, replacing it with a steeper volume loss. Given recent reports of automakers scrambling to circumvent supply chain disruptions, idling plants, and a near-total drop in new vehicle sales in China, the prediction has legs.

As reported by CNBC, Moody’s has revised its earlier estimate of a 0.9 percent global drop to 2.5 percent, and even that figure is based on an assumption that the spread of the coronavirus outbreak can be halted before the end of the first quarter.

As the wildly infectious disease shows no signs of easing — and no respect for land borders — that figure could be due for another revision before long.

While the viral outbreak factors heavily into the firm’s forecast, it’s not the sole element at play. Europe’s imposition of strict emissions mandates factors in, too. Should world events play out the way Moody’s anticipates, 2020 will see sales fall 2.9 percent in China, 4 percent in Western Europe, and 1.2 percent in the United States.

It goes without saying that the firm’s outlook is “negative.”

Last year, global new vehicle sales took a 4.6-percent haircut. In the U.S., volume decline was roughly 1.5 percent, though the industry managed to stay north of 17 million units for a fifth consecutive year. That goalpost stands to recede into the sky in 2020, regardless of what happens with the virus.

[Image: welcomia/shutterstock]

Join the conversation
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Feb 27, 2020

    If COVID-19 goes world wide and we don't see a vaccine or it hopping back to an animal reservoir, we will see around 320 million deaths based on a 4% mortality rate and 5.5 billion humans. I'd say that it would actually be closer to double or triple that since poor countries won't have the resources to treat sick people.

    • See 5 previous
    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Feb 28, 2020

      @Lou_BC "China’s history of under-reporting" That hit the nail right on the head! Zika and Ebola outbreaks were promptly reported through WHO channels. But the secretive Communist Chinese government thought they could keep this under wraps, and failed miserably. An interesting factoid is that the Chinese CDC was actually modeled after the US CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci trained those Chinese 30 years ago. But even Dr. Fauci is getting the run-around from those researchers these days, and no Chinese samples of this novel corona virus (CoVid-19). Where are the anti-communist conspiracy theorists?

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Feb 27, 2020

    I think climate change is more urgent issue. We're all gonna die.

    • See 2 previous
    • HotPotato HotPotato on Mar 01, 2020

      @rpn453 Except these changes aren't happening over millions of years, they're happening over 70 years. Stop parroting nonsense and read up on this for real. The ICPC reports are a good starting point.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Feb 28, 2020

    Wouldn't be the first time in history that a plague or pandemic has reduced human population. As for climate change I wonder if we as a species have reached the tipping point--the Earth might survive and adapt but we as a species might become extinct.

    • See 3 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Mar 02, 2020

      @highdesertcat "Zika was primarily mosquito-borne, like Malaria" Mosquitoes aren't the reservoir i.e. the host population. They are known as a vector i.e. mode of transmission.