COVID-19 has had a global impact, with governments resorting to national lockdowns and social distancing measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. The result is a large-scale drop in business confidence, consumer demand, and industrial production—leading to a global economic recession in 2020.

The coronavirus outbreak has also heavily impacted the commercial vehicle (CV) industry. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and parts suppliers have yet to return to full production capacity, except a few Asian countries that have come out of the pandemic. Most of the world has experienced shattered supply chains, financially drained small and medium-sized enterprises, and reduced vehicle sales in Q1 2020. 

Production shutdowns due to national lockdowns in March and April will result in a spillover effect in Q2. The development increases multifold the challenges facing the CV industry, including stricter tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gas regulations across regions.

The study sheds light on the pandemic’s impact on the global medium and heavy duty CV production across key regions such as North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, China, and India. The study also covers the new opportunities that COVID-19 has created in other mobility verticals such as connectivity solutions, autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and vehicle leasing. For example, telematics service providers offering driver health monitoring solutions and contactless delivery will capture market share. Successful leasing companies will provide major fleets flexible payment terms and lease contract extensions. At the same time, collaborations between market participants in the alternate powertrain industry will improve product development efforts and reduce time to market. 

OEMs will explore various options to draw back fleet customers as the effects of the pandemic start to wane and the industry recovers. Strategies include quick service response teams to ensure vehicle uptime and onsite support operations. OEMs will also increase revenue from aftermarket opportunities, such as offering predictive maintenance and expanding mobile service operations. Increasing investment in digital platforms and connected solutions will further enhance the customer experience. In the short term, there will also be a strong focus on safe production practices to ensure workforce safety. 

The study also highlights the unit shipment and growth rates across different verticals with opportunity areas in each segment.