Covid-19 and the Automotive Industry: Impacts and Challenges!

By: Kris LeSueur   |   01 Mar 2021
Covid-19 and the Automotive Industry: Impacts and Challenges!

Covid-19 disrupted the flows of life in every sector, and the automotive industry is not an exception! Travel restrictions, lockdown, and eventual fallout have affected the industry and have received their fair share of blows and lows. To name a few, factory closures, supply chain disruption, and a collapse in demand have propagated the impact globally.

SMEs (small and medium enterprises) have been reportedly hit the hardest, with millions of jobs at risk.

Situation

By the end of 2019, there was a significant rise in vehicle sales. Some of the segments were at a record high as the US’s forecasts alone showed an increase of 16-17 million by 2020. Unfortunately, it took the first blow and came to a halt in March due to the quarantine mandates. The inactivity has pushed the industry backward, and currently, it is being viewed as the worst since the 2008 financial crisis.

Millions of people across the globe lost their jobs. They had their businesses suffer considerably, which is why it is only natural to resort to savings, especially when the future seems so uncertain. As expected, people weren’t interested in sending or investing money in vehicles.

Operations!

However, at the operational level, Covid-19 accelerated developments in the automotive industry that began years ago, and the good news is that they’re all positive and worthy of looking forward to. It provided the automotive manufacturers to reflect and reimagine their organizational structures and pushed them towards radically focusing on many aspects of digitization. It also includes building resilient supply-chains and optimizing asset deployment. The best thing to come out of this has to be decision-making, as the window of opportunity never closes permanently! It is always about acting now or never. Apple stands tall as one such example as there has been news concerning the iCar.

Who’s winning?

Now that the vaccine is here, woes of the auto industry are relieved to some extent. A notable exception is China, with remarkable and rapid recovery in the automobile sector. Automakers are the kick-starters of the global economy, but consumer confidence is still low from the economic setback. Yet, amidst this, Tesla’s stock prices rose significantly, and it has surpassed Toyota, and it currently stands as the most valuable automotive company in the world!

It hints at what the future of the automotive industry! Electric and digital are the way, and all winning moves in the automotive industry will be in this domain. The pandemic has reinforced the ‘now or never’ mindset, and it is going to reflect in the upcoming models and versions that will navigate the future successes in the industry.

If we are to assess the market as of right now, the auto industry has shown tremendous resilience and rebounded to deliver the expected results. Owing to the Covid-19, sales in Europe and the US might not recover as we’d like it to, but China is a winner here, as the rebound continues to accelerate!

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