Car companies that are struggling for survival in 2020
A compilation of companies that are currently in, or have been in survival mode during this year.
As if the year of the 2020 hasn't been weird enough already, it also proved to be an incredibly difficult time for the automotive industry as most of us can already gather, with noticeably less global car sales since the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic. But some manufacturers are continuing to suffer more seriously than others.
1. Aston Martin Lagonda
Aston Martin's CFO, Mark Wilson who stepped down from his position | Credit: Yahoo News Malaysia
Having already plunged into catastrophic losses of over £100 million in 2019, Aston Martin really was at breaking point. But even with being warned of possible disruption from the coronavirus outbreak, the struggles continued to prevail. With China making up a large proportion of Aston Martin's market, car sales falling during the quarantine period within China only worsened the financial situation for the luxury car manufacturer.
And if this news wasn't bad enough - chief financial officer Mark Wilson stepped down in April, amid concerns regarding bankruptcy for the eighth time in the company's 107-year history. It's hard to imagine such an automotive icon being left in the dust to such an unfortunate series of events, but our best source of hope in seeing the company's comeback will probably lie with the promotion of Aston Martin in the latest delayed James Bond film.
NIO ES8 SUV catches alight amid faulty battery recall period | Credit: TechNode
Another statistical victim of the Coronavirus crisis, Chinese automaker NIO has had a turbulent time recently, with a fluctuating presence on the stock market. A company that originates from the epicentre of where the pandemic began, it could be argued that 2020 held a wealth of difficulty for the all-electric car company - factors such as price subsidies being reduced by the Chinese government for the purchase of electric cars deterred buyers and therefore reduced sales.
NIO did make a slight crawl back into the game with the debut of the more reasonably priced and more affordable ES8 - but battery fires specific to the model would mean that NIO would have to recall almost 5,000 ES8's, consequently driving sales further into the ground. Any chance of a bounce back would still mean that NIO would be in constant contention with its main rival Tesla, which continues to dominate the electric car market globally.
3. Jaguar Land Rover
Stock build-up of JLR models as a result of falling sales in China | Credit: Wall Street Journal
Jaguar Land Rover has been subject to tough times as the company continues to adapt its market strategy - losing 3.6 billion pounds in the 2019 financial year. But with its new strategy of cost-saving, JLR has shown signs of both growth and difficulty in recent years - but UK-specific lockdowns have resulted in major repercussions for the household name in the automotive industry, since the firm has its most predominant presence in the UK. The analysis firm Fitch has previously predicted that JLR sales will fall by 15-20% this year as a result of the pandemic – putting more pressure on the need for collaborative development and external investment to keep the company alive.
The best window of opportunity for JLR to really flourish in the coming years may be to continue to aim towards full or at least partial electrification of their current range. This could position the company ahead of the game, especially if proposals for a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK is given the go-ahead. Who knows, the cost-cutting and affordability appeal intertwined with an all-electric range could set JLR up for future success.