Corporate Questionnaire on Post-COVID-19 Automotive Industry 2020
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a corporate questionnaire from August to September 2020, chiefly to automakers and automobile component manufacturers regarding “the automotive industries after COVID-19 pandemic.” A part of the survey results is covered here, such as the impact to the sales of new vehicles in major countries and regions, the forecast on the recovery period of new vehicle sales, and the analysis results on newsworthy CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, Electric) technologies.
When asked about the influence of number of new vehicles sold in the COVID-19 calamity (a single response for each county and region), 96.6% of the respondents answered that worldwide automotive sales would go through negative growth in 2020, with “significant decrease” occupying 45.4% and “slight decrease” dominating 51.2%. For the 2021 forecast, “significant decrease” declined by 36.1 points to account for “9.3%”, and “slight decrease” also declined by 2.9 points to occupy 48.3%, while “slight increase” rose to occupy 20.5%.
When observing each major country and region, the expectation for demand recovery in China was substantial, because the response rate for “Increase Slightly” occupied 42.9% for China, exceeding 25.9% which was the total response rates of “Decline Significantly” and “Decline Slightly.” The respondents seemed to consider that harsh market environment continues in 2021 especially in South America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan, for almost 60% of respondents answered either “Decline Significantly” or “Decline Slightly” for such countries and regions.”
Newsworthy Development for CASE
When asked about which of the technologies are newsworthy for CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, Electric) to those who responded “CASE” for the question, which of the categories in the automobile industry changes the most by the COVID-19 infections, the top three were 5G, sensors (radar, camera, LiDAR, and ultrasonic), and OTA (Over the Air).
5G is expected to be used in C-V2X* to enable positional information of vehicles, updating of various data, sharing of traveling information, infotainment, etc., which are in verification tests aiming at full implementation at each country. In particular, China has pressed ahead with dissemination of Smart City, ADAS & autonomous driving, and C-V2X as its national project, so that the utilization of 5G in automobiles is likely to be achieved earlier than Japan, Europe, and the U.S. On the other hand, sensors and OTA are essential technologies for ADAS and autonomous driving. Still, while sensors are needed to improve performance and reduce cost, OTA is required to enable updating of automotive software. However, automotive OTA update is technologically challenging, as it requires infrastructure deployment and communication security. Therefore, implementation of these in vehicles is projected to be after 2025.
*C-V2X (cellular V2X) is the communication technology using 5G, enabling communications between vehicle and vehicle, vehicle and infrastructure, and vehicle and pedestrians.
When asked about when new vehicle sales will be recovered worldwide, 45.4% of the respondents forecasted “2022,” 23.9% of the respondents anticipated “2021,” and 19.0% predicted “2023.” When observing the recovery period by major country or region, China is expected to attain the earliest recovery with 32.7% of the respondents forecasted “in the latter half of 2020” and 38.0% in “2021.” The U.S. is also regarded to attain relatively early recovery, with the forecast for its recovery in “2021” accounted for 31.7%. Consequently, the research indicates that the new vehicle sales are expected to be led by China and the U.S. after 2021.
Meanwhile, around 40% of respondents predicted that the recovery of new car sales is expected in “2022” for ASEAN countries and India which are suffering from stagnant economy caused by the COVID-19 infections, and also for Western Europe and South America which are unable to stop the expansion of the pandemic. Japan’s recovery is also forecasted in “2022” by 41.0% of respondents, and “2021” by 25.9% of respondents.
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