By on May 27, 2021

global vehicle market

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]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “QOTD: Has the Global Vehicle Market Recovered?...”

  • avatar

    The headline asks whether the global vehicle market has recovered; the lead asks whether the global vehicle market is in recovery.

    Since when does “has recovered” mean the same thing as “in recovery”?

    Given this, I have a different QOTD: “Should Jason have to give part of his pay back for every badly written article he posts?”

    Snark aside, clearly the answer to both questions is that the global vehicle market has not recovered from the pandemic yet.

  • avatar

    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?

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      Really makes you wonder what brought them to buy a new car at this time. Very few car repairs cost more than $3000. That’s like 6 months of payments! Why sign up for another 6.5 years of debt? Is the stimulus money having a significant impact? If so, what happens when that wears off?

      • 0 avatar

        You’ve never owned a post 2000 German car have you?

        • 0 avatar

          I have ONLY owned post-2000 German cars since 2010. The newest was 6 years old when I got it, everything else older. 5 total. No repair has cost over $1,500, and even those charges typically include extra work I wanted done or accumulated, such as “go ahead and add rear brakes to this job” or “do the tranny fluid as well while at it” type deal.

          SPPPP is exactly right otherwise as well. Per my mechanic: “I try to extend the service life of your existing vehicle, not get you into another one.”

        • 0 avatar

          28 cars, MKIV Jetta (niggling issues, nothing big, 2.slow manual), B7 A4 v6, A3 hatchback with 2.0T and DSG (several medium problems in quick succession but not big ticket; ditched it partially for that reason), and E90 and E91 with low and high miles, respectively.

          To be fair, the E91 commanded two and a half to bring it up to spec, almost the entirety of which was deducted from the asking price. That went to total overhaul of the TPMS system (brain plus sensors) and new tires. Car was over 100k already and not babied. I’m bringing it up to spec slowly, but again…. nothing costs a lot as it doesn’t have to be done at once, isn’t broken, etc.

          • 0 avatar

            I hate to admit it, but I do in fact own one of these German beasts. A high-miles E90 335i … It was a city car, purchased out of state, cash, private seller, not much service history, turbo engine, no warranty, first year model … pretty much everything you shouldn’t do. I have replaced a few things, no doubt. But none of them was over $1000. I can recommend it *as long as your eyes are open going in!* I don’t want to be the “Do as I say, not as I do” guy, but there it is. :)

          • 0 avatar

            I’m not as knowledgeable on VAG platforms, though I know the MKIV Jetta has a following. I’d argue your Jetta experience was in part brought about by the choice of a manual transaxle, a quick search confirmed my vague memories of transaxle issues.


            I had heard mixed things about the E90s but that was around late 00s early 10s. I know my then boss had the twin turbo sedan variant (I think an MY11) and it was in the shop frequently but I don’t remember for what reasons.

            So you had to put in a new TPMS unit in the E91?

          • 0 avatar


            I wish you continued good fortune with your E90 but what I’m hearing is: first year model + high miles + purchase price + several $1,000 repairs + wearables, fluid changes, and water pump after 100K. Personally I get irritated at spending $400 on regular maintenance items and $100 for inspection stickers.

          • 0 avatar

            @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.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to agree. There isn’t much selection and no deals to be had. I’d like to replace my 11 year old truck but as @SPPPP indicated, I can put a couple of grand into repairs if needed and wait. People will overbuy and then there will be a dip in demand.

      • 0 avatar

        “…no deals to be had.”

        Depends on what you’re looking for. If you simply must have something with a bed, or a comically overpriced sedan with black cladding – I mean, a CUV – you’re right, no one’s dealing. Otherwise, deals can be had.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • golden2husky: I’ve used POR15 and was very satisfied with the results…
  • CaddyDaddy: We are getting close, I’ll take a 62′ finished in Silver Lilac please! Everyone says these...
  • thegamper: I kind of like this in white with the black rims. The base model of the prior year was actually the most...
  • 28-Cars-Later: Shocking (/s).
  • 28-Cars-Later: It would be interesting to know how the fleet companies employing Teslas to super high mileage operate...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber