(12 May 2021) In 2020, worldwide motor vehicle production fell sharply, dropping 15.4% from the previous year, because of travel restriction measures and an overall decline in economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Passenger cars experienced a more significant drop in production than commercial vehicles, with decreases of 16.9% and 11.6%, respectively. This marks the third consecutive year with negative growth in global automotive vehicle production. In contrast, global electric vehicle (EV) sales increased 39% in 2020, to 3.2 million units, boosting the total global EV stock to 11.3 million units.

  • The latest statistics from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers reveal a major decline in production across all manufacturing regions, with the most significant decreases in Latin America (24.8%), Western Europe (24%), and North America (20.3%).
  • Vehicle sales data show a similar story, with 2020 passenger cars sales registering a year-on-year 15.9% drop and commercial vehicle sales dropping a less devastating 8.7%. In some world regions, passenger car sales decreased by more than 20% from 2019 levels; these include Latin America (down 29.3%), the NAFTA region (28.9%), Africa (24.7%), and Western Europe (21.1%).
  • Export trade also suffered a blow from 2020 coronavirus restrictions aiming to slow down the virus's spread. Motor vehicle exports came to an almost complete standstill in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, where yearly vehicle export totals were more than 97% below their 2019 levels. Other regions experienced export decreases of 40–50%.
  • Against the backdrop of an overall motor vehicle market contraction in 2020, exports and sales in the global EV market registered lucrative growth. Global EV sales have accelerated by 39% in comparison to 2019, while EV export trade increased by 18%. Germany now ranks second in EV sales, after China, overtaking the United States in 2020. Norway was the top country by electric vehicle sales share, with 75% of cars sold in the country being electric, followed by Sweden (32%), Netherlands (25%), and Denmark (16%).
 

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