(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%).

Download our latest AUTO INDUSTRY data brief

The Automotive Data Brief reviews the most recent data to present an overall picture of the automotive sector. You can find information relating to vehicle production and sales as well as statistics about fuel prices, vehicle stocks, and the electric-vehicle market.

Связанные Insights от Knoema

The World's Top Car-Owning Countries

The United States is often criticized for its perceived nonchalance toward air pollution despite persistent statements to the contrary by the current presidential administration. The US remains the number one contributor globally to harmful chemicals in the air, with the fossil-fuel consuming transportation industry being a primary emission source. With more than 250 million vehicles on US roads, the US surpasses even China based on total vehicles in use despite China's much larger population...at least for now. China has already surpassed the US in annual new car sales. Examining...

The Global Electric Car Market

Electric cars constitute less than 0.1 percent of the vehicle market today, but market and regulatory forces all but ensure electric vehicles will be the future of the auto industry. According to the 2016 Global Electric Vehicle Outlook from the International Energy Agency, the global electric car stock has grown rapidly since 2010, from about 2,000 cars in 2005 to nearly 1.3 million in 2015. The boom in the electric car industry is usually attributed to three factors: The increasing recovery cost globally for fossil fuels used in conventional vehicles;The environmentally-friendly...

World's Safest Vehicles of 2017

Even as the design of cars become increasingly safety focused and even automated, speed, texting, and driving while under the influence contribute to a rising number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes, particularly in the United States. Asian car manufacturers nearly swept the 2016 motor vehicle safety rankings by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), securing nine of the top 10 spots. Only Daimler's (Germany) Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class joined Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru, and Honda in the top 10. The IIHS testing of new cars in the North American market covered three...

CO2 Emissions of Newly Registered Cars in Europe

Information that EU member states submit annually per Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 to the European Commission and onward to the European Environment Agency (EEA) on newly registered passenger cars provide a unique opportunity to analyze CO2 emissions. The data reveal thought-provoking trends from the perspective of purchasing patterns of lowest to highest emission cars and the corresponding potential contribution of each make and model to air pollution. Premium-class sport cars are the ‘dirtiest’ based on CO2 emissions, with Bugatti vehicles—each emitting more than half a kilogram...