LMC: Pandemic, Recession Spell 20-percent Production Drop in 2020

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
lmc pandemic recession spell 20 percent production drop in 2020

This year stands to become one of those big “blip” years if predictions by industry forecaster LMC Automotive pan out.

The firm now expects global vehicle output to drop “more than” 20 percent as a result of both the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recessions born of state-mandated lockdown orders.

As reported by Reuters, LMC sees the global auto industry cranking out roughly 71 million vehicles, down from 90.3 million in 2019. The auto industry accounts for about 5.7 percent of the world’s economic output and 8 percent of trade, so the impact on GDPs across the globe won’t be negligible.

The world currently finds itself in a strange situation, with some auto-manufacturing countries having largely recovered from their respective outbreaks, and others still with a ways to go. North America and most of Europe remains under lockdown orders imposed in mid-to-late March, with assembly plants in this continent not expected to come back online until early to mid May. It’s entirely possible those orders might lift, only to come back into effect if another viral wave hits in the fall.

Supply chains are in disarray, and factories in relatively virus-free locales have to contend with reduced demand from customer bases in hard-hit regions. We’ve seen that already in Asia. Then there’s the economic damage and loss of consumer spending power from temporary layoffs that became permanent.

Globally, the worst month of this pandemic — in terms of auto production, that is — will be April, LMC says. The firm adds that its 20 percent figure could rise, depending on which way outbreaks go in various countries, and it feels North America and Europe’s recoveries are “unlikely to be rapid.”

It’s not all doom and gloom, though LMC’s report, which foresees an uptick towards normality by the end of the year, still cautions that its numbers are “likely to be revised down.”

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Redgolf Redgolf on Apr 20, 2020

    So you and the wife pool your $2400 and go get one of those cheap leases for $199/month or less that will soon be offered by most auto makers, that's the first year being paid for, maybe second year coming soon also!

  • Redapple Redapple on Apr 21, 2020

    That Pig Up Truck. Man that is FUGLY. One a scale (1-10), it s a solid 1 right? THE WORST EVER. I ll state this. If you buy one, you are an ass. You have NO taste. Get another tattoo.

    • See 3 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 23, 2020

      @Art Vandelay The high tattoo to tooth ratio crowd tend to favour old Chevy pickups. They are easy to spot: Harley Davidson stickers all over the rear window, some "Molon labe" stickers, a massive pit bull with a spiked collar in the box and a skinny dude with a sleeveless denim shirt at the wheel.

  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged