Aug 24 (Reuters) – Auto consultant LMC Automotive on Monday cut its estimate for a decline in full-year global light vehicle sales, citing a speedy recovery for the sector hit by the coronavirus crisis.
Global light vehicle sales are expected to fall about 16.7% to about 75 million units this year, improving from a prior estimate of a drop of about 19%, LMC said.
“Light vehicle sales were just over 90 million units in 2019, so the selling rate in July shows a market running at almost 97% of last year’s total,” LMC said. (bit.ly/3lcO6l3)
Since hitting a bottom in April, auto sales have seen a V-shaped recovery as economies reopen following easing of lockdowns, resulting in major automakers scrambling to ramp up production and boost weak inventories at dealerships.
China has been among the strongest markets to recover, the auto consultant said, with the United States seeing a tempered rebound amid a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.
Western Europe produced a ‘normal’ market level in July, while India and Brazil, though slow to recover, were now gaining traction, the firm said.
LMC, however, remains concerned if the pace of sales in July can be sustained through the rest of the year, as pent-up demand slows and government incentives expire.
“When job and business support schemes end, or are tapered, a renewed macroeconomic slump could emerge, damaging underlying vehicle demand,” the firm said. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)