Connected, autonomous tech driving global LCV market toward recovery
Global sales of Global Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) are projected to reach 9.49 million units in 2020, with pickups contributing to 4.62 million units. According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the global economic impact of COVID-19 caused the market to decline by 19 per cent in global LCV sales from 11.72 million units in 2019. The European market is said to be worst hit, with countries such as Italy and Spain facing an average decline in LCV sales of 35 per cent to 50 per cent in 2020.
However, e-commerce and connectivity are expected to continue to drive the global LCV market as last-mile delivery and electrification are expected to grow in influence in the coming years. With restrictions on geographical movement during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, e-commerce and last-mile delivery applications will see a spike in demand to deliver essentials at doorsteps.
The market outlook in key regional markets will vary considerably. In North America, LCVs are expected to be on the decline for the rest of the year, with full-size pickups expected to be the most affected because of the slowdown in the construction sector. Europe is expected to have a fairly good penetration of eLCVs compared to other regions going forward, with several new launches such as e-Dispatch and e-Transporter expected in 2020. The market in China is expected to pick up gradually from Q2 2020 as the recent growing domestic demand for pickups has pushed local OEMs to create more pickup products. In India the growing penetration of e-commerce and last-mile connectivity will drive the segment to experience robust growth in the next five to 10 years, according to Frost & Sullivan.
However, the LATAM region is expected to remain under further downward pressure with falling commodity prices due to COVID-19, and the market will likely decline by 17 per cent in 2020. Similarly, the LCV market in Russia is expected to contract by 16% in 2020, coupled
In the Asia-Pacific region, 2020 is expected to be a turning point for the penetration of eLCVs in the larger ASEAN region with substantial investment coming from OEMs and fleets.
GCC: Despite the record-low oil prices, the market in the GCC is experiencing a boost in e-commerce, which provides opportunities in the region’s logistics sector.
Analysts advocate for ‘strong stimulus packages’
“Strong stimulus packages from the governments will be necessary to support the economy and cope with low business confidence and high unemployment rate, which stemmed from nationwide lockdowns during the pandemic,” said Marshall Martin, Industry Analyst, Automotive & Transportation, at Frost & Sullivan. “The 2020 slowdown will be particularly pronounced across advanced economies such as the United States, Germany, Italy, and Japan.”
He added: “Electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs) will continue to gain prominence going forward with a slew of launches expected until 2023. Emerging trends in the market, such as connectivity, advanced safety, and autonomous features, offer great opportunities for the growth of the global LCV market in the next three to five years.”