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Global Auto Production Forecast Downgraded Further for 2022

20 April 2022 Mark Fulthorpe

While the March 2022 forecast update reflected the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the April update addresses some additional challenges that have arisen, including a rather sluggish recovery in semiconductor supplies, the impact of further COVID lockdowns in China and the longer-term influence of high raw material prices that will put added pressure on new vehicle affordability.

"Currently the greatest risk to the outlook comes from the threat of further or prolonged lockdowns in mainland China and the contagion into already stressed global supply chains," said Mark Fulthorpe, Executive Director, Global Production Forecasting, S&P Global Mobility.

The April 2022 forecast update reflects noteworthy reductions for several markets, with the most significant reductions focused on Europe and Greater China.

The following reflects the S&P Global Mobility April 2022 Light Vehicle Production Forecast update:

The more noteworthy regional adjustments with the latest forecast update are detailed below:

  • Europe: The outlook for Europe light vehicle production was reduced by 498,000 units for 2022. With the April update, we see European production remaining challenged as the region continues to navigate the Russia/Ukraine impact as well as ongoing supply chain issues.

  • Greater China: The outlook for Greater China light vehicle production was reduced by 396,000 units for 2022. Heavily hit by strict COVID containment measures, light vehicle production in March is estimated to have declined by 8% a year-over-year. In April, the Omicron variant has spread to Shanghai and forced local government officials to implement comprehensive lockdowns. As the influence of lockdowns expanded from vehicle production to parts production, component shortages are expected to interrupt auto production outside of Shanghai in the near-term, leading to further vehicle output impact in following months.

  • North America: In spite of the backdrop of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and continued supply chain challenges, the outlook for North American light vehicle production in 2022 remains flat at 14.75 million units. Production in Q1-2022 came in a bit higher than forecast with 3.55 million units produced. However, production in Q2- 2022 was revised down on continued supply chain struggles and concerns surrounding additional logistics issues at border crossings between the US and Mexico in Texas that may exacerbate already strained conditions in the near-term.

This article was published by S&P Global Mobility and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.


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