Global Top 10 Countries Sales Forecast (Q2 2020)

2020 global sales forecast down to 71.07 million units, India and Brazil sales cut nearly in half


*An updated version of this forecast report will be released every quarter.

- According to LMC Automotive's forecast of 2020 light vehicle sales volume (as of the 2nd quarter of 2020), global sales are expected to decrease by 21.3% year-on-year to 71.07 million units. As the impact of the new coronavirus further strengthened, the outlook for global sales was revised downward from the forecast made in the first quarter of this year (76.61 million units).

- Although there is no change to the top 10 sales countries in 2020 falling below the previous year’s sales forecast, sales in India and Brazil in particular are expected to drop by almost half compared to 2019, further reflecting the difficulties these countries are facing in the economy as well as the automotive market.




We have revised China’s 2020 LV forecast to -11% and now forecast flat demand in the second half of the year when compared with H2 2019. Pent-up demand continued to be released in April and May, leading to a stronger-than-anticipated performance in the second quarter, but the prospects for the second half of the year remain hazy.

For the full year, our forecast shows sales of 13.28 mn units, a decline of 22% YoY. MPVs, Cars and Vans are expected to fall by at least 30% YoY, while SUVs and Pickups gain share.

For 2020 overall, we now estimate a decline of 15-­20% YoY in the Japanese LV market largely as a result of COVID­19. Note, however, that this outturn hinges largely on the future trajectory of the pandemic. In the event of a second or even third outbreak, we may have to downgrade our forecast once again.

For 2021, we assume that the market will improve by around 13%. This is slightly lower than elsewhere, but there are several factors to consider: 1) 2020 will fall at a lesser rate than the overall European market (thus requiring less rebound); 2) the German market was running at unusually high levels pre-pandemic; and 3) the VAT change will ensure that some 2021 registrations will appear in late 2020.

We made another significant round of cuts to India’s sales forecast, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown devastated the Indian economy and dampened consumer sentiment. The revised 2020 LV forecast is now at 1.83 mn units (-­48% YoY), which compares with our previous projection of 2.81 mn units (-20% YoY).

We now anticipate a 28% drop in the UK LV market this year. The 2021 forecast reflects a sizeable rebound of 24%, although with sales grinding to a halt recently, which is unlikely to be repeated next year, the recovery is bound to look strong. The base forecast continues to assume that the EU and UK will reach a trade deal, but if they fail to do so, the UK government has stated that it would apply 10% duties on imported vehicles from January 2021, in order to protect the auto sector. If that were to happen, price increases would almost inevitably follow as the UK vehicle market is dominated by imports, and so demand would be dealt yet another blow at the start of next year.

For 2021, the forecast sees the market recovering much lost ground, with growth of 19% YoY. However, it will be another couple of years beyond that before pre-pandemic levels are likely to be restored.

Since sales passed the 2 mn threshold in 2007, they have only fallen below that in 2016, and now this year. We expect that Brazil will be outsold by Korea, falling one place in global ranking, to become the ninth largest sales market. Among the major markets, only India is forecast to face a steeper decline.

We are now forecasting a pronounced fall in Italian sales this year, due to the rapid developments related to the coronavirus pandemic and the devastating impact it is having on the economy, and the LV industry in particular. We now see the market contracting by well over a third for 2020 as a whole, before a double-digit percentage recovery in 2021.

Our latest forecast sees PV sales dropping by 28% to 1.17 mn units from 1.63 mn in 2019.The economic outlook for Russia is fairly lacklustre, following an initial rebound in 2021. For the market to grow rapidly, we believe that ongoing incentives or supportive measures will be required, but the scope of any such measures over the years ahead is far from clear.


Global Light Vehicle sales forecast by country (Top 10 countries)

Total 95,185,709 94,452,296 90,349,997 71,069,478 81,525,672 88,087,964
China 28,608,980 27,749,764 25,500,447 22,768,953 25,027,162 26,655,112
USA 17,154,042 17,230,970 16,991,330 13,280,785 15,132,624 16,236,904
Japan 5,164,249 5,201,809 5,128,473 4,348,601 4,685,161 4,837,401
Germany 3,711,312 3,720,413 3,911,011 3,067,756 3,451,772 3,536,323
India 3,697,283 4,001,391 3,521,751 1,825,382 2,270,944 2,641,468
UK 2,909,889 2,733,220 2,685,613 1,927,453 2,395,861 2,583,891
France 2,540,649 2,620,873 2,678,878 2,001,070 2,377,580 2,516,619
Brazil 2,178,648 2,478,837 2,668,415 1,432,955 2,049,995 2,403,108
Italy 2,156,937 2,084,109 2,094,575 1,373,358 1,679,471 1,952,682
Russia 1,595,667 1,800,579 1,759,290 1,269,801 1,599,728 1,869,124
Others/RoW 25,468,053 24,830,331 23,410,214 17,773,364 20,855,374 22,855,332

Source: LMC Automotive "Global Automotive Sales Forecast (Quarter 2, 2020)"
(Note) 1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 6 tons.
          2. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission of LMC Automotive.