OEM Operations in the U.S. in 2020

Despite Covid-19, OEMs heavily invest in EV manufacturing and development in U.S.

2020/12/18

Summary

GM_FactoryZero
GM'S Detroit-Hamtramck plant, renamed as Factory Zero, undergoing renovations
Source: GM

  In 2019, U.S. car sales declined slightly to 17.1 million units, compared to 17.3 million units in 2018. Analysts had initially predicted that U.S. vehicle sales in 2020 would be between 16.7 million to 17.1 million units due to inexpensive, available credit, low unemployment rates and strong consumer confidence. However, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted sales, with year-to-year decreases of 13% and 33% in the first quarter and second quarter of 2020, respectively.

  Despite the difficult economic environment caused by the pandemic, automakers continued to invest in the U.S., particularly in sustainable mobility. GM announced a USD 2.2 billion investment for its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, later renamed Factory Zero, and a USD 2 billion investment for its Spring Hill plant to support EV production. Tesla invested approximately USD 1.1 billion to create an assembly plant in Austin, Texas. Volkswagen continued construction and development of its manufacturing campus in Chattanooga, Tennessee to prepare it for EV production.

  OEMs have formed more partnerships and alliances in the U.S. recently to support growth. GM and Honda signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2020 for a strategic alliance in North America after previously agreeing to jointly develop Honda EVs with GM's Ultium batteries. GM and LG Chem began construction of a battery cell plant for their Ultium Cells joint venture in Lordstown, Ohio. Finally, Toyota and Mazda invested an additional USD 830 million for the development of their joint assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama.

  This report provides a list of significant OEM activities and investments in the U.S. in 2020, and a brief overview of the U.S. automotive market for the year.


Related reports:
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Automotive Industry (Nov. 2020)
Electric Powertrain Market Forecast in Major Countries (Oct. 2020)
OEM Measures to Expand Sales of SUVs and Pickups in the U.S. (May 2020)
Emerging U.S. EV makers: Full-fledged market entry from end-2020 (Apr. 2020)
CES 2020: Electrified vehicles and technologies (Feb. 2020)