The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has rocked the world in 2020 and heavily impacted every industry. One industry which has certainly been knocked by COVID-19 is the automotive industry and it could have long-lasting repercussions which affect the industry even once the pandemic has finished.
The pandemic has had a severe impact on the globally integrated automotive industry in a number of different ways. The disruption in the exportation of parts from China has heavily impacted production across Europe and even led to the closure of assembly plants in the USA.
This has placed even further pressure on an industry which was already having to come to terms with periods where consumers could not purchase automobiles and a drop in global demand (more on this to come). Subsequently, this is likely to lead to an increase in merger and acquisition activity in this industry.
A Drop in Demand
Following on from this, the demand for automobiles has also decreased significantly over the last few months and this could signify a change in the approach towards automobiles. Many people are now working from home and may continue to do so even after the pandemic, meaning that people will require a vehicle much less and may look to go without as a way to free up cash. Additionally, the financial effects of the pandemic mean that many people are trying not to make large purchases with so much uncertainty (along with Brexit) so sales have dried up.
Instead, people may look to more affordable ways to get around and there is likely to be an increase in taxi demand as a way for people to travel privately and safely during the pandemic which is important and this could continue even after the pandemic has ended. This means that those in the taxi industry could succeed in a post-pandemic marketplace provided that they have high-quality vehicles and can run a good business.
Electric & Autonomous Driving
While COVID-19 has disrupted the automobile industry, that is not to say that it cannot succeed as there will still be many that want/need their own private vehicle. It is likely that electric vehicles will continue to grow in popularity once things start to return to normal and the development of autonomous vehicles in the future will provide some light at the end of the tunnel for this industry.
The pandemic has hit the auto industry heavily in 2020 and the effects of this will be felt for years to come. It may well have changed motoring habits forever, but there will always be potential in this industry, especially with the improvements in tech and progress towards autonomous driving which be a huge step for the automotive industry and particularly if more people are wary of public transport post-COVID-19.