Global Car Production, Sales and Exports April 2021

Read a monthly update on global car production, new car sales in key markets, export levels and imports into Australia.

Global Car Production

  • The Australian Federal budget’s extension of the instant asset write-off paves way for new car sales recovery
  • Global semiconductor shortage expected to cost the industry $110 billion in revenue
  • Hyundai planned to suspend production at several South Korean assembly plants this week due to semiconductor shortages
  • China is erecting factories for electric cars almost as fast as the rest of the world combined
  • Victorian government to introduce $3,000 subsidy for electric cars
  • Globally, production is beginning to pick up pace in major manufacturing bases
  • Japan is down 18% through February 2021
  • South Korea is down 9% through March 2021
  • The US is down 23% through April 2021
  • Germany is down 20% through April 2021
  • The UK is down 30% through March 2021
  • China is up 8% through March 2021

Global Car Production in 2020

New Car Sales

  • A year on from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, new car sales look to be picking up pace in several markets around the world
  • Our data that looks at a 12-month rolling change illustrates this
  • In North America, the US is only down 0.9% while Mexico is down 25.6% through April 2021. Canada is down 22.2% through February 2021
  • In Europe, Germany is down 16% through March 2021
  • Spain is down 27.9% in March 2021 and looks to be on the recovery after COVID outbreaks slowed sales earlier in the year
  • France and Italy are down 13.1% and 12.9% respectively through February 2021
  • In the Asia Pacific region, nations have generally fared better
  • Australia is up 1% while Japan was down just 3.9% through April 2021
  • New Zealand is up 1.2% through April 2021
  • Meanwhile, South Korea is bucking all trends and is up 8.4% through March 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 March 2021, recording a figure of $3.934 billion according to the latest ABS figures
  • This represents an increase of $0.996 billion (+34%) compared to March 2020
  • The rolling 12-month change shows imports are now down just $1.2 billion in March 2021
  • Stock supply entering Australia seems to be picking up pace after months of significant volatility
  • Greater stock availability helped new car sales increase 137% in April 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 15% through March 2021
  • Japan is down 22% through March 2021
  • The United Kingdom is down 25% through March 2021
  • Germany is down 7% through April 2021
  • The United States is down 26% through February 2021

Indications from April figures suggest car production and export levels are picking up the pace to return back to pre-COVID levels.

Despite this, the unpredictability of the pandemic combined with supply bottlenecks including semiconductor chip shortages will continue to cause volatility in supply chains.

As a result, imports into Australia are likely to remain volatile for some time.

New car sales in large international markets are also still lagging behind Australia’s recovery, and with Australia further down the priority chain for car manufacturers, it’s likely that supply into Australia will face competition from other markets.

Global Car Exports in 2020