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Are inventories the European market’s black hole?

While Light Vehicle inventory data are not publicly available in Europe, recent events have highlighted that stock movements are a critical component in understanding the likely evolution of build volumes.

in LMC Automotive, by Arthur Maher, Director of Research, 21-01-2021


In the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008, OEMs were immediately faced with collapsing market volumes. They responded by slashing output and made concerted efforts to reduce unplanned or unrequired inventories. But the scale of the crisis was such that European automakers could not act quickly enough. So much so, in fact, that by the close of 2008, they found themselves sitting on circa one million Light Vehicles – all of which were stuck in the supply chain and surplus to requirements.

More recently, with the outbreak of a global pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, European OEMs saw days’ supply rocket to more than 100 days in the first quarter of 2020. Ideally, days’ supply should sit at around 60 days, meaning that the region was essentially overstocked by 40 days.

 

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