Based on data reported by manufacturers in 2020, the Association of European Manufacturers (ACEA) has developed an interactive map demonstrating the impact of the pandemic on vehicle production for each of the 27 EU countries and the United Kingdom.
Whether in terms of registrations or the number of units leaving the factory, the repercussions of Covid-19 on the automotive market are no longer to be proven. ACEA, however, got down to the task of quantify production losses at EU level in 2020. And the observation is impressive since the latter amount to 4,243,577 unassembled vehicles, or 22.9% of total European production (including the 27 member states and the United Kingdom) in 2019. This figure, which includes passenger cars, trucks, vans and buses, results first and foremost from the closure of automobile factories, especially during the months of confinement from March to May. The other explanation for such a tumble lies in the fact that production capacity has not yet returned to pre-crisis levels.
According to the mapping tool developed by ACEA – which offers an overview but not necessarily exhaustive, specifies the organization – the country with the heaviest losses is none other than Germany, where the automotive industry is considered one of the main economic pillars. Our first cousins thus count more than a million vehicles that have not seen the light of day. In second and third place of the most affected regions are France, with 881,287 units less, and Spain, recording 577,130 losses.
Conversely, Belgium is the state that has been able to best preserve its production with a degradation contained at 22,105 non-commissioned. Thus, despite the manufacturing slump caused by the pandemic affecting the sector, Jacques Brel’s homeland remains a solid player in the field of automotive assembly. As a reminder, the Opel Antwerp, Ford Genk, Audi in Brussels, Volvo Europe in Ghent and the local bus brand Van Hool are located there.