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World May 2020: Global sales improve slightly on April at -33.3%

Brazil and Latin America are pulling global new light vehicle sales down in May.

LMC Automotive released its internal Global Light Vehicle (LV) sales for May 2020 and although a slight improvement on the 22-year low annualised score of April (-44.8%), the result remains dire at -33.3% to 5.086.635 units vs. 7.631.526 in May 2019. Year-to-date, the 2020 volume is now down -29.7% to 26.223.902 vs. 37.308.383 at the same stage in 2019. One of the main interests in LMC Automotive reports is the availability of a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate (SAAR) for each region. Globally, the May 2020 SAAR perks back up to 61.25 million/year in May vs. 49.04 million in April and 57 million in March, 65 million in February and 88 million in January. We are past the absolute worst but according to LMC Automotive, these figures suggest that the post-pandemic recovery, lengthy as it might be, is underway, but are indicative of the serious impact of coronavirus across the globe. Year-to-date, the Global 2020 SAAR now stands at 64.33 million, down -28.8% from 2019 volumes of 90.32 million and to be compared with 64.76 million as of end-April. 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 internal figures and therefore sometime don’t match with data published on BSCB by each country. The US (-28.8%) show a somewhat subdued loss to 1.128.887 units and sees its SAAR perk back up to 12.31 million/year vs. 8.73m in April. There is however a glaring disparity between retail (-21.1%) and fleet sales (-65%). LMC has Western Europe down -57.9% to 7.13 million SAAR vs. 3.2m in April. China is up 10% and returns to pre-pandemic levels at 26.24 million SAAR which is higher than the actual 2019 volume of 25.5 million and to be compared with 23.5m in April and 14.8m in March. South Korea is up 10.1% but Japan is down -45% and Brazil/Argentina is now the most affected region in the world at -71.7% to 949.000 SAAR vs. 697.000 in April, 1.94m YTD and 3.11 million actuals in 2019. The May 2020 LMC Automotive Global update is here.

Source: LMC Automotive

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

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