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Worldwide car sales 2010-2021

Worldwide car sales are expected to fall to just under 62 million automobiles in 2020. The sector is projected to experience a downward trend on the back of a slowing global economy and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic in all key economies.

Covid-19 hits car demand

It had been estimated pre-pandemic that international car sales were on track to reach 80 million. Although the latest outlook figures show an improvement from previous estimates, the industry's economic woes continue, and demand for new motor vehicles is forecast to be in the negative throughout 2020.

Chinese market recovers

After years of double-digit growth, China's economy began to lose steam. China was the largest automobile market based on sales with around 21 million units in 2019. However, monthly car sales in China were in free-fall in February 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country and fears over a looming recession. As a result of successful containment measures, the market started showing signs of recovery in April, providing a lifeline for major manufacturers, including Volkswagen.

Number of cars sold worldwide between 2010 and 2021

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Release date

October 2020



Survey time period

2010 through October 2020

Supplementary notes

* Annual averages

** These values are forecasts.

The values for 2010 through 2018 were taken from a previous edition.

The values include light truck sales in North America and, beginning in 2005, crossover utility vehicle sales in China.

All figures refer to new vehicle sales.

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