William Malcolm

Automakers Face $100 Billion Hit

European and American car manufacturers could lose up to $100 billion in revenues if factories on both sides of the Atlantic remain closed through the end of April.

In Europe, losses could rise to EUR 66 billion if 2.6 million cars are not sold. In the United States, it could be $52 billion if they reach two million unsold vehicles.

The production losses will grow eight billion euros each week that European factories remain closed. Closed US factories generate a loss of $7.5 billion each week.

At first, large car manufacturers expected factories to reopen in late March or April. But now many of them, including Nissan, Ford, and General Motors, say they will remain closed indefinitely.

Last week, the German automotive group Volkswagen extended the shutdown of production at its factories by another ten days, until 19 April. Škoda Auto, a part of the Volkswagen Group, extended its production shutdown at all three Czech factories until at least 14 April.

According to available figures, sales of new cars in Europe were down 66% in March. In the US, March car sales fell to their lowest level in ten years.