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World April 2020: Global sales down -44.8% to lowest annual rate in 22 years (49 million)

Global light vehicle sales have fallen to their lowest in over 20 years in annualised terms. Picture Flash90.

LMC Automotive released its internal Global Light Vehicle (LV) sales for April 2020 and as expected the picture is dire, with a year-on-year drop of -44.8% to just 3.967.406 units vs. 7.193.464 in April 2019. This pulls the year-to-date volume down -29.2% to 21.011.687 vs. 29.676.090 over the same period a year ago. A very interesting angle LMC Automotive has shared is the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate (SAAR) for each region. Globally, the April 2020 SAAR plummets down to just 49.04 million units/year, falling below the 50 million mark for the first time since late 1998 (see graph below). For comparison, the global SAAR was at 88 million in January, 65 million in February and 57 million in March. The Global 2020 YTD SAAR stands at 64.76 million units, down -28.3% from actual 2019 volumes of 90.32 million. Our Live COVID-19 Dashboard has LMC’s global forecast for 2020 at 71m units, alongside 2020 forecasts for 15 major markets.

Global Light Vehicle sales 1998-2020. Source LMC Automotive

Regional data reflects LMC Automotive figures which is why they sometime don’t match with data published by each local association. USA (-45.6%) fares notably better here in April but its SAAR is down to 8.73 million/year vs. 11.2m in March. LMC has Western Europe down -80.1% to a 3.2 million SAAR. China has April 2020 sales stable which does not entirely match with CAAM or CPCA figures, but interestingly China’s SAAR is up from 14.8 million/year in March to 23.5 million in April, down just -7.8% on the actual 2019 volume of 25.5m. China’s 2020 YTD SAAR remains low at 16.6m. The April 2020 LMC Automotive Global update is here.

Source: LMC Automotive

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