Ford posted better-than-expected figures for the third quarter, recording a net income of $2.4 billion. However, David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, suggested that the company could be facing tough times ahead. Says Leggett: “Like several other carmakers, Ford is getting a boost from higher demand – especially in the US – after the pandemic-induced low points earlier this year. High margin trucks are selling very well and there are signs of a turnaround, too, in China which has been a disaster area for Ford in recent years.”
Following the news that the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) reported a year-on-year decline of 38.76 per cent in vehicle production over the past nine months, Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, says: “Thailand, a key automotive production hub in Asia, is struggling hard to recover from the slumped vehicle production output. Vehicle production, both for domestic sales and exports, has been witnessing a downward trend since 2019.
Following the news that India’s state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has announced to invest in Thailand-based e-mobility player SWAG EV, Bakar Sadik Agwan, senior automotive consulting analyst at GlobalData, says: “EESL’s investment in SWAG EV is expected to pave way for electric two-wheelers with swappable batteries in India and is a major positive development for the Indian e-mobility market. The cost of ownership, along with the availability of adequate charging infrastructure, is a key factor for the large-scale uptake of electric vehicles. EESL’s pilot project with SWAG to implement battery-swapping concept is expected to make electric two-wheelers a more feasible product in India.
Data and analytics company GlobalData is forecasting that Covid-19 lockdowns and an increase in working from home worldwide has limited the need to own private vehicles, which will cause more consumers to consider new models of vehicle ownership. This has implications for the insurance industry. As more people turn to car-sharing schemes for their transportation needs, this will reduce the number of private motor insurance policies in force. In their place, insurers will need to provide short-term policies for drivers using these services.
The UK Government recently fast-tracked a permit to allow electric scooter rentals on public roads. The move forms part of a broader investigation into greener travel and overcrowding on public transport as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, according to GlobalData.
The global light vehicle market continued its post-corona recovery in June, market analysts report. Global light vehicle sales fell by 19.1 per cent in June, year-on-year, to 6.2 million for a seasonally adjusted annualised running rate (SAAR) of 73.1 million in the month, according to GlobalData.
Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While these results are some way behind industry norms, they do demonstrate that the global market has recovered from its April low when a SAAR of 48.2 million was registered.”
The world’s light vehicle market is forecast to decline by 17.2 per cent to 73.6 million units in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated economic fallout, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at the company, comments: “This is a bigger one-off shock than witnessed in the two years of the global financial crisis.”
Following ACEA’s latest assessment that new car sales in the European Union will fall by 25 per cent in 2020, GlobalData’s automotive analyst David Leggett, says: “In May, the European passenger car market (EU+EFTA+UK) suffered another sharp drop, with new registrations falling by 57.2 per cent on last year.
Hyundai Motor Group has announced a rise of nearly 58 per cent rise in global electric vehicles sales in the first five months of 2020. The Korean car maker has sold 40,182 units in the period. David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, says: “Hyundai’s success reflects strong demand in Europe for recently-launched electric vehicles such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Ioniq as well as Kia Niro and the Soul EV.
A car scrappage scheme to boost UK vehicle sales was reported to be unlikely this week, quelling hopes of a subsidised shift towards electric cars. However, according to Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, such a move would benefit the country’s economy. “Just a few days ago, it seemed that a £6,000 new car purchase incentive scheme was close to being signed-off, but it looks like the Treasury is now considering a wider-ranging fiscal stimulus package that will forego specific incentives for the automotive sector.
In widely reported remarks, Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta has reiterated the importance of UK-EU free trade to the future of its Sunderland manufacturing plant. The uncertainties connected with the Nissan Sunderland plant, in turn, serve as a reminder of the still-present Brexit risks.
For the three national markets of France, Italy and Spain, combined new light vehicle sales fell by 55 per cent on last year to 268,000 in May, which compares with a 75 per cent drop in March and a 93 per cent decline in April. This represents a slightly better scenario than had been anticipated, as Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, explains: “After the seized up and locked down markets of March and April, this is a welcome sign of life in markets that were the first in Europe to be engulfed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) including vans are an often overlooked, but important, component of the European light vehicle market, particularly in the current coronavirus crisis, says GlobalData. Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at the company, says: “As online delivery becomes more important to our everyday lives and as we shelter indoors from the coronavirus, the importance of the LCV typified by light vans such as the Ford Transit is self-evident.”
France recently announced plans to inject more than €8bn into its automotive sector, a measure that Calum MacRae, automotive analyst at GlobalData, believes should be considered across Western Europe. The analyst has forecast that the region will “bear the brunt of a global industry that faces a near 20 per cent fall in volume in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.” While it forecasts global industry to lose “nearly 16 million sales in 2020 compared with 2019, West Europe alone will account for more than a quarter of the decline.”
Following the news that car dealerships in England can re-open from 1 June, David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData urged caution that car demand will continue to be “well below normal.” The analyst currently forecasts that the UK new car market will be 30 per cent down, year on year.