Global Car Production, Sales and Exports March 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

  • Global semiconductor shortage continues to stifle auto production, with GM and Ford announcing downtime at their plants
  • Hyundai to halt production at South Korea plant due to chip shortage
  • EU lacking charging infrastructure for electric car growth
  • Global automakers are delaying or skipping Electric Vehicle releases in Australia to supply markets that offer EV subsidies and have more aggressive emissions targets
  • Globally, production is down significantly in major manufacturing bases, excluding China which has already recovered
  • Japan is down 17% through January 2021
  • South Korea is down 8% through February 2021
  • The US is down 27% through February 2021
  • Germany is down 28% through February 2021
  • The UK is down 33% through February 2021
  • China is up 4% through February 2021

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 2021
  • Our data that looks at a 12 month rolling change illustrates this
  • In North America, the US is down 9.7% while Mexico is down 32.9% through March 2021. Canada is down 21.7% through January 2021.
  • In Europe, Germany is down 21.5% through February 2021
  • Spain worsened to be down 37% in February 2021 after seeing a spike in Coronavirus infections in late 2020 that hampered output
  • France and Italy are down 25.2% and 27.9% respectively through February 2021
  • In the Asia Pacific region, nations have generally fared better
  • Australia is down 7.8% while Japan was slightly better at 7.6% through March 2021
  • New Zealand is down 13.5% through March 2021
  • Meanwhile, South Korea is bucking all trends and is up 10% through February 2021

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 in February 2021, recording a figure of $3.584 billion according to latest ABS figures
  • This represents an increase of $0.57 billion (+18.9%) compared to February 2020
  • The rolling 12 month change shows imports are down $2.5 billion in February 2021
  • Stock supply entering Australia seems to be below pre-COVID norms but above levels seen across 2020
  • Greater stock availability helped new car sales increase 22% in March 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 12 month rolling changes in car export volume from the large car manufacturing nations:

  • South Korea is down 14% through February 2021
  • Japan is down 23% through February 2021
  • The United Kingdom is down 29% through February 2021
  • Germany is down 26% through February 2021
  • The United States is down 27% through January 2021

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

Datium Insights Monthly VFACTS Update


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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.

Please contact Datium Insights for further analytical support and advisory services.

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