Moody’s has downgraded this year’s global auto sales forecast due to the coronavirus. Worldwide car sales are expected to decrease by 2.5 percent.
“The coronavirus epidemic undermines the demand for cars and disrupts the automotive supply chains,” the agency said. Despite today’s forecast deterioration, global sales should slow this year compared to last year, when Moody’s world automotive market plummeted 4.6 percent.
In China, where the coronavirus is spreading, the agency expects sales to decline by 2.9 percent this year. Previously, it anticipated a one percent reduction. China is the largest automobile market in the world. “Sales in the United States will remain weak in 2020, while sales in Western Europe will drop after surprisingly strong demand at the end of 2019,” Moody’s said.
“Japan will be the only large car market to show sales growth,” the agency said. It predicted that car sales in Japan will increase by 0.4 percent this year after a 1.4 percent decline last year. The decrease was due to the increase in turnover tax and production shortages caused by typhoons.