There may be an abundance of bad news at the moment, but the automotive industry that will emerge the other side of this crisis will be leaner and greener.
Tough decisions will be taken on restructuring, not just in jobs but also in manufacturing, development and even the existence and make-up of brands. But if there was ever any doubt over a switch to electrification, there’s none now.
As pollution has dropped with fewer vehicles on the road, the public has seen that there’s another way. Legislators are already forcing manufacturers towards cleaner, greener vehicles and, having now tasted better air quality, the public’s opinion will be with them.
“I believe that the best thing from the Covid-19 crisis is that it’s forcing an aged industry to finally take the plunge,” says Felipe Muñoz, Jato Dynamics’ global analyst. “Until now, not even tough regulations forced the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to evolve. They don’t have other options with this crisis. It’s time to have a more flexible, mobility-focused and efficient industry. Covid-19 will allow it to get there.”
Whether you see that as good news comes down to whether or not you’re enamoured by the idea of an EV in the first place. But the fact is that the UK’s planned 2032 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars now looms larger than ever, and all investments will be channelled towards that.