Stefano Aversa, who leads consultancy AlixPartners in Europe, says the auto industry “needs to forget 2020 as soon as possible and move forward.” His company predicts the coronavirus pandemic will cause European vehicle sales to drop by 32 percent this year, which will hammer profits. Therefore, he predicts many most automakers and suppliers will use 2020 to “clean up their balance sheets.” Aversa discussed this and more with Automotive News Europe Associate Publisher and Editor Luca Ciferri and Correspondent Andrea Malan.
The Global Automotive Outlook 2020 that AlixPartners published on June 8 envisaged two possible scenarios for European vehicle sales this year in light of the pandemic. The baseline view was that sales would be down 32 percent compared with 2019. The more drastic view was that there would be a “prolonged recession” with deliveries falling 36 percent. Which is the most likely?
Our baseline forecast of a 32 percent decline is the most likely. We are more pessimistic than most observers [industry association ACEA, for example, predicts a 25 percent decrease], but barring a major new wave of infections, I feel the prolonged recession hypothesis is too negative.