NEW YORK — New vehicle sales in the U.S. will fall about 20% this year and not recover from the coronavirus pandemic for more than half a decade, according to AlixPartners L.L.P.,
In its most recent Global Automotive Outlook, the consulting firm projected that U.S. sales will fall to 13.6 million vehicles this year from 17.1 million last year and not return to 17 million until 2026. The forecast extends to 2027 without reaching the peak of 17.6 million sales set in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic has damaged economies around the world, and global sales are projected to plunge 21% this year to 70.5 million vehicles from 89.7 million last year. From 2020 through 2022, AlixPartners projects sales will drop 36 million units compared with 2019.
"The impact of the COVID-19 crisis globally is as if a market the size of all of Europe had vanished for the year," Stefano Aversa, chairman of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at AlixPartners, said.
The firm also projected that the U.S. market would continue to shift to crossovers and SUVs from traditional passenger cars, sales of which are expected to slide to 20% of light-vehicle sales by 2027 from 24% in 2020. Crossover and SUV sales are projected to rise to 56% of the market by 2027 from 51% this year.
The consultancy's figures are contained in a study, Global Automotive Outlook: Mastering Uncertainty.