2Q 2020

Assessing the Coronavirus Impact on Automotive Electrification and Drive Automation

The beginning of 2020 has seen the global economy afflicted by an event unlike anything experienced in recent times. The December 2019 emergence of COVID-19 in China has spread across the globe, causing entire industries to shut down in a matter of weeks. Populations are being ordered to self-quarantine and commerce is limited to essentials such as food and medicine. Many of the idled businesses may never fully recover and sectors such as transportation will likely see an impact approaching or even exceeding that of the 2007-2009 recession as unemployment skyrockets and travel is restricted. 

For the automotive sector, the impacts are expected to be far-reaching. COVID-19 is likely to not only lead to poor economic conditions for vehicle sales but also have sustained impacts on trends in telecommuting and online retail that may increase consumer trends to abandon individual vehicle ownership. With cash tight, oil prices low, and governments looking to recover productive capacity, the market will likely turn back to familiar options initially. However, as the economy recovers, governments are likely to increase pressure on tailpipe regulations, improving conditions for EVs in the long-term.

This Analyst Insight report from Guidehouse Insights discusses the potential impact of COVID-19 on the global automotive market, providing forecast analysis on overall vehicle sales, EV sales, and Level 4+ automated vehicle deployments. This report also updates Guidehouse Insights’ latest forecast model for vehicle sales with an eye toward factoring in the potential economic and social impacts of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. It also provides recommendations for automotive sector stakeholders. 

Pages 17
Tables | Charts | Figures 6
  • What is the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on vehicle sales forecasts?
  • What are some of the potential near-term impacts on the transportation sector of shuttering much of the global economy?
  • What societal behavioral shifts might become permanent, such as remote work, and how might that affect transportation use?
  • What are the possible transportation modal shifts that occur in the wake of a global pandemic?
  • How does the transportation industry need to reprioritize future investments during a protracted recovery from a deep recession?
  • Automakers
  • Automotive suppliers
  • Automotive retailers
  • Federal and state policymakers
  • Transportation policymakers
  • Advanced transportation advocates
  • Transportation electrification groups
  • Financial institutions
  • Investor community




Reevaluating Vehicle Sales Forecasts in the Wake of a Global Pandemic

What Has Happened So Far?

What Comes Next?

Dealing with Recession

Fewer Vehicle Miles Traveled

Shifting Modes

Producing Fewer Diesel Engines

Prioritizing Recovery

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Auto Industry Product Plans?

  Electrification and Automation Take a Backseat in the Market Recovery

What Do We Recommend?

  Increase Investment in Low and Zero Emissions Technologies

Plan for Expanded Regulations on Emissions

  Look for an Increase in the Need for Commercial Vehicles that Support Deliveries

  Reconsider the Investment Balance Between Electrification and Automated Driving

  Attempt to Recover Public Trust

  • Consumer and Commercial Vehicle Sales, World Markets: 2005-2019 
  • Modeled Modal Transportation Demand by Region, World Markets: 2019
  • Change in Global Diesel Engine Production vs. Vehicle Sales: 2016-2018
  • Vehicle Sales Forecast Pre- and Post-COVID-19, World Markets: 2005-2030
  • Hybrid + EV + Fuel Cell Share Forecast Changes, World Markets: 2005-2025
  • Annual Light Duty Automated Driving by Use Case: 2020-2030
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