QOTD: Has the Global Vehicle Market Recovered?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
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qotd has the global vehicle market recovered

Is the global vehicle market in recovery following the 2020 downturn? Data analysts GlobalData seem to think the market is firmly in recovery mode, according to their latest report.

Calum MacRae, GlobalData automotive analyst said, “April across all markets shows an 83.4 percent increase, not unexpected with COVID-19’s impact on sales.”

“Seasonally adjusted, the annualized rate of sales (SAAR) is 88.4 million. With April added, the global market recovery is on track.”

The recovery belies mixed trends regionally. New vehicle demand grows domestically, while in western Europe sales fall.

Furthest from SAAR’s 2018 base is Western Europe, while least impacted by the virus has been the US. Our market has exceeded expectations.

GlobalData noted the fiscal stimulus and fear of missing out has fueled the US market.

Depleted dealer stocks are at historic lows due to chip supply issues plaguing production.

GlobalData figures also show solid new vehicle demand in China, while western Europe has been slow to rebound.

April’s European new vehicle sales were about the same as the month prior, due to continuing COVID-19 movement restrictions.

GlobalData concluded, with 86.1 million light-vehicle sales for 2021, worldwide that will be 3.3 percent lower than 2019.

Don’t be surprised if it ends up much closer than the forecast, and if the chip shortage is straightened out, we could exceed 2019’s total.

Our own assessment is that pent-up demand, the high cost of used vehicles, and competition from rental car companies will drive new car sales even higher than the analysts have predicted.

[Image: BMW]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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15 of 16 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 27, 2021

    Well it may be a case of they will sell every unit they produce but projections in USDM are several million units down from 2019. So what is "recovered"? Equal to 2019 production? Greater? Just being able to sell ever unit produced vs parking unsold inventory?

  • Ajla Ajla on May 27, 2021

    At least locally, inventories are so low I don't know what people are shopping. I guess they're just doing MSRP + 84 month loan on whatever CUV or truck the lot happens to have available at the time.

    • See 10 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 27, 2021

      @Nick, SPPPP I happened to see the cleanest looking E36 convertible the other day priced decent. Had I not just bought and restored my Volvo C70 'vert I'd be looking at it now.

  • Kendahl Kendahl on May 27, 2021

    It appears that demand has recovered but supply has not due, in part, to the chip shortage. Until supply recovers, it will be a sellers' market. Bad time to buy a vehicle.

  • Bpscarguy Bpscarguy on May 28, 2021

    The Chevy/Cadillac dealer near my house has about 5 or 6 Cadillacs and about 10-15 Chevy cars/trucks on their lot. That's IT. It looks so strange, and also crazy to see.