latest-news-headlines Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/volvo-drives-on-as-us-car-light-truck-sales-suffer-covid-19-hangover-59351323 content esgSubNav
In This List

Volvo drives on as US car, light truck sales suffer COVID-19 hangover

Podcast

Next in Tech | Episode 49: Carbon reduction in cloud

Blog

Volume of Investment Research Reports on Inflation Increased in Q4 2021

Blog

Price wars in India: Disney+ Hotstar vs. Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix

Blog

Using ESG Analysis to Support a Sustainable Future


Volvo drives on as US car, light truck sales suffer COVID-19 hangover

U.S. sales of cars and light trucks appear to still be suffering the aftereffects of COVID-19. Panjiva's analysis ofofficial datashows that total sales of cars and light trucks produced in the U.S. and overseas fell by 23.3% year over year in June. While the absolute level of sales of 1.32 million vehicles was better than the trough of 832,900 in April, it was only in line with May's 1.34 million vehicles.

The only grouping showing an improvement on a year-over-year basis was sales of foreign light trucks, where sales increased by 2.3% year over year after falling by just 5.0% in May. Sales of domestically produced vehicles, meanwhile, dropped by 25.8%, while sales of foreign cars dropped by 40.0%.

The poor performance of domestic vehicles versus foreign, if continued, may raise the risk of the Trump administration revisiting the prospect of section 232 national security tariffs in the sector. The most likely target would be Europe, bringing autos back into the frame as another point of potential friction on top of aerospace, digital services and the environment as tripwires ahead of the elections as outlined in Panjiva'sQ3 Outlook.

SNL Image

The major automakers do not appear to expect a significant recovery in the near future, with U.S. seaborne imports of cars and light trucks having dropped by 41.8% year over year in June,Panjiva's datashows. 

While none of the automakers increased their shipments, the slowest rate of decline was registered in shipments linked to General Motors Co., which dipped by just 12.3% compared to year earlier, while those associated with Kia Motors Corp. declined by just 14.3% and Volvo Cars of North America LLC's rose by 22.4%.

SNL Image

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.

Christopher Rogers is a senior researcher at Panjiva, which is a business line of S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global Inc. This content does not constitute investment advice, and the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Links are current at the time of publication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.