Global Car Production, Sales and Exports January 2021

Datium Insights Monthly Car Supply Update

Read our monthly update on global car production, new car sales in key markets, export levels and imports into Australia.



Global Car Production

  • Both GM and Ford are set to cut American production in 2021 Q1 due to a global semiconductor shortage
  • Other brands including Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen and Nissan have also cut output due to the shortage
  • Apple is reportedly going to invest $3.6 billion in Kia Motors to initially produce 100,000 units of its Apple Car per year
  • Globally, production is down significantly in all major manufacturing bases
  • Japan is down 18% through November
  • South Korea ended 2020 down 11%
  • The US ended 2020 down 22%
  • Germany ended 2020 down 25% and is down 23% so far in January 2021
  • The UK ended 2020 down 29%
  • China ended 2020 down only 3%

Global Car Production in 2020

New Car Sales

  • With global supply chains hampered and a drop in demand, new car sales have been sluggish to recover losses in early 2020
  • In North America, the US ended 2020 down 15% while Mexico ended down 30%. Through November, Canada is still down 22%
  • In Europe, Germany fared the best in 2020, down 19%
  • Spain ended 2020 down 32% after seeing a spike in Coronavirus infections in late 2020 that hampered output
  • France and Italy ended down 24% and 27% respectively
  • In the Asia Pacific region, nations have generally fared better
  • Australia ended the year down only 14% while Japan was slightly better at 12%. Both countries are off to a good start in 2021, up 11% and 7% through January
  • New Zealand ended 2020 down 28% but is also off to a good start in January 2021 – up 6%
  • Meanwhile, South Korea bucked the trend and ended the year up 5%

Global Car Sales in 2020 North America

Global Car Sales in 2020 UK Europe

Global Car Sales in 2020 Asia Pacific

Car Imports into Australia

  • Car Imports increased again in December 2020, recording a figure of $3.727 billion according to latest ABS figures
  • This represents an increase of $0.86 billion (+30%) compared to December 2019
  • The cumulative total for 2020 shows imports ended down down $3.8 billion compared to 2019
  • Stock supply entering Australia seems to be increasing significantly to make up for losses earlier in 2020
  • Greater stock availability helped new car sales increase 11% in January 2021, see our latest VFACTS report for insights

Australian Car Imports

Australian Car Imports YoY

Australia 2020 Cumulative Car Imports YoY Change

International Car Exports

The latest government figures show the following changes in car export volume from the large car manufacturing nations:

  • South Korea is down 16% so far through November 2020 compared to 2019
  • Japan ended 2020 down 22% compared to 2019
  • The United Kingdom is down 29% so far through November 2020 compared to 2019
  • Germany ended 2020 down 24% compared to 2019
  • The United States is down 31% so far through November 2020 compared to 2019

With car production and exports from international markets still significantly low, imports into Australia are likely to remain volatile for sometime.

New car sales in large international markets are also still low and with Australia further down the priority chain for car manufacturers, it’s likely that new car supply into Australia will struggle for the next few months.


Global Car Exports in 2020

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Tanim Ahmed

By Tanim Ahmed, Head of Product at Datium Insights

Tanim is a Macquarie University alumni with degrees in Finance and Economics. He has spent a decade in the Leasing and Finance industry, specializing in Residual Value risk.

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Published by Tanim Ahmed

Tanim leads the development of our product suite, working with top-notch developers to deliver the best products for our customers. In addition, he also oversees sales and marketing activities, spending time with customers across the country. Tanim has spent a decade in the Leasing and Finance industry, specializing in Residual Value risk. Prior to Datium Insights, he worked in various risk and product roles with the likes of General Electric, Custom Fleet and Westpac. He has degrees in Finance and Economics from Macquarie University.

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