Global car sales to undergo steepest decline since ’08

Global car sales to undergo steepest decline since ’08

Global car sales are expected to fall by roughly 3.1 million units in 2019, the steepest year-over-year decline since the 2008 financial crisis, CNBC reports. This is based on findings by Fitch Ratings’ economics team, which used data collected by the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

The sales of passenger cars worldwide fell to 80.6 million in 2018, down from 81.8 million sold in 2017. That was the first annual decline since 2009, according to Fitch, and the downward trend looks set to continue in 2019 with an estimated 4% drop to around 77.5 million.

Fitch said the slowdown in car sales is contributing to a drag on global manufacturing. Company chief economist Brian Coulton said: “The downturn in the global car market since the middle of 2018 has been a key force behind the slump in global manufacturing and the car sales picture is turning out a lot worse than we expected back in May.”

One of the reasons for the slowdown is due to falling demand in China. Sales in the world’s largest auto market fell by 11% during the first 10 months of 2019, compared to the same period last year. Coulton said weak credit growth, a rise in used car sales and new emissions standards “depressed new car sales in China.”

Global car sales to undergo steepest decline since ’08

“Structurally, environmental concerns about diesel cars – and anticipated regulatory responses – and the growth of ride-hailing and car-sharing schemes are weighing on auto demand,” Coulton said.

But things aren’t just slow in China. Sales in the US are struggling as well, with General Motors, Ford, and Honda all cutting back on production as the auto market cools. Fitch Ratings estimate that US vehicle sales will decline by 2% to 16.9 million vehicles in 2019. Other countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and Western Europe are expected to suffer from a decline as well.

At the going rate, Fitch Ratings doesn’t see a rebound in 2020, which means the auto slope will remain slippery for the foreseeable year. “While we don’t see a sharp further decline in global manufacturing in 2020, the auto outlook is pointing to a stabilisation at best rather than any sharp rebound,” Coulton told CNBC. Sign of the times? What do you think?

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.



  • Darren on Dec 05, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Meanwhile in MY, car prices is undergoing steepest increase since ’08.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2
    • Jeremy on Dec 05, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Buy Proton X70 now b4 steepest price increase.
      Conti volvo quality and cheap price. Best Buy !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
      • Roti john (I'm Not Kunta!) on Dec 05, 2019 at 3:45 pm

        Another game over fake news from our regular keyboard warrior claiming that X70 quality is on par with Volvo. As being mentioned in PT previous article, Proton X70 quality is 2X Worse than CR-V and 6X Worse than game changing Aruz. I would rather trust this survey instead of one frustated keyboard warrior spreading lies in here

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17
        • Celup King on Dec 05, 2019 at 4:52 pm

          Sorry Kunta, but I just can’t trust a survey that is soon gameover

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
      • Ali Rustam on Dec 05, 2019 at 6:41 pm

        Proton has the worst RV of any car in Malaysia. We know that for a fact. Buy a Persona today and even next year, it becomes 50% less in price.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
    • No thanks to our Malaysia weak Ringgit position .

      Any countries using Dollar denomination still remained strong until today in comparison to Malaysia Ringgit, for example SGD , USD , AUD , BND and etc.

      Malaysia was using Malaysian Dollar (MYD) in those old days which was strong in comparison to our neighbours currencies like Sing Dollar and Thai Bhat before Malaysian currency was officially changed to Malaysia Ringgit ( MYR).

      When Malaysia Ringgit surfaces , that where Malaysian currency was weak till now causing all imported goods and foods prices to go upwards only.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7
      • 4bini on Dec 05, 2019 at 6:45 pm

        We need more people from Mainland to run our car business, GLCs and also Putrajaya.

        If we can get 1.6 million people from Mainland to replace the Putrajaya workers, productivity will 10 fold and our ringgit will go up

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10
        • Angry Voters on Dec 05, 2019 at 10:31 pm

          When we had 1.6million Putrajaya workers plus previous 100 Cabinet ministers, we were heading towards parity of USD1 to RM2.50.

          Now with 1.6million Putrajaya workers plus new 100 Cabinet ministers, we are going towards USD1 to RM5.00.

          What has changed to make it deteriorate? Certainly the new 100 Cabinet ministers that caused this to drop. So better for 100 Mainland people to replace our useless new 100 Cabinet ministers. Do you agree?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • redpilled on Dec 06, 2019 at 10:15 am

          great! lets start with replacing you.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
          • When Najib worked towards job creation for the rakyat, it was by creating 1million honest jobs as Grab & Food Panda deliverymen. Ini keje halal.

            When PH worked towards job creation for the rakyat, mana tau it was by creating 1million keje keji as penfitnah & pentaksub Red Bean troopers. Ini keje haram.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  • Sick & Tired on Dec 05, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Global car sales fall. Proton car sales up and cheapest petrol in the region … Syukur rakyat MY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  • azrai on Dec 05, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    And Malaysian still whining the economic downturn is their fault because they changed to the new government. The downturn cycle is these 2 years, maybe after Trump ejected next year, trade tension with China will ease and economic cycle to the top will repeat itself just like every 10 years cycle. By then, election all people already forget.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
    • Jeremy on Dec 05, 2019 at 10:35 pm

      True downturn cycle happens every 10 years or so. If it was just 2 years, that is self-inflicted. Take a look at Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines. Their economy is booming but not Malaysia. Why? What changed the past year, when it was heading so bright?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
      • azrai on Dec 06, 2019 at 3:35 pm

        Fact will not speak for itself. Please read.

        1. The World Bank on Thursday was increasingly pessimistic about Thailand’s economic growth rate for 2019 and 2020 downgrading both to 2.7% and 2.9% respectively. It means that Thailand now looks to be well behind other Southeast Asian countries as it contends with a growing list of problems that have made 2019 somewhat of an annus horribilis for Thai economic planners.

        2. Vietnam’s economic outlook is positive, despite signs of cyclical moderation in growth. After peaking at 7.1% in 2018, real GDP growth in 2019 is projected to slightly decelerate in 2019, led by weaker external demand and continued tightening of credit and fiscal policies.

        3. The International Monetary Fund has become the latest global institution to slash Indonesia’s economic growth projection amid thickening gloom surrounding world trade that is expected to spill over into the domestic economy.In its October 2019 World Economic Outlook published on Tuesday, the Washington, DC-based institution expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand just 5 percent this year — down 0.2 percentage points from its April projection — and 5.1 percent in 2020, down 0.1 percentage points from the earlier forecast.

        4. The Cambodian economy has likely expanded at a brisk pace this year, even though growth is likely somewhat below 2018’s over-decade high.

        5. Philippine economic growth in this and the next year will be slightly lower than earlier forecast on the back of a slowdown in the global economy and domestic investment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in its updated report launched on Wednesday.The ADB downward revision in growth for the Philippines comes from the slowdown in domestic investment in the first half of 2019 mainly caused by the delayed passage of the 2019 national budget, which held back public expenditure, particularly on infrastructure.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
        • Jeremy on Dec 06, 2019 at 6:07 pm

          1988 – Monday meltdown
          1997/8 – Asian Financial Crisis
          2008/9 – Global Recession
          2019/20 – ??? (incoming soon)

          Nuff said

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • PT, where is your journalism ethic? When you report someone else’s article, please include the original link for readers. Unless you paid for the license la

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • Chris on Dec 05, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    And Mahathir still wanna go ahead with 3rd national car instead of improving the economy…

    Awesome PH… keep it up…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
  • the driver on Dec 05, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    It’s been mentioned the new crop of graduates prioritize their income elsewhere these days. The attraction of buying your first car to impress their family has been fading simply because the daily grind of working is killing the enthusiasm of driving.
    Suffice to say, only narcissists buy expensive cars to satisfy their own ego or to satisfy maniacal parents bent on telling their friends how successful their children are

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  • msia driver on Dec 05, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    dont worry in malaysia, x70 will cover all the global car sale decreased if all the world open market for Geely
    imagine BMW X1 = USD35
    x70 = USD 12k

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • carfan on Dec 05, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Why use photo of old model mazda CX5 for this article?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  • Ahmadjr on Dec 05, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    The millennial just hope the parents buy the cars for them

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Robinhood on Dec 06, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Conventional cars demand went down. No worries, flying cars demand will go up as our minister claimed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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