COVID-19 Outbreak: Updated US Auto Industry Analysis 2/20/2020

Key findings of this update

  1. The auto industry experts at Anderson Economic Group estimate that the crisis will cause production in China to drop by at least 2 million units in 2020—roughly equivalent to the seven times the production loss during the 2019 UAW-GM strike in the US.
  2. The list of strongly affected automakers has grown to include Jaguar-Land Rover, which faces imminent production difficulties in the UK.
  3. Battery-electric vehicles, including those manufactured by Tesla, are at significant risk to supply disruption.
  4. Chinese government censorship, surveillance, detentions, and quarantines have increased the human calamity in many parts of China, and render much information provided by large institutions in that country unreliable.


This updated economic analysis follows previous AEG releases dated February 4, 6, and 10. It is focused on impacts to the automotive industry and its affected workers and consumers due to the COVID-19, or “coronavirus,” outbreak that began in China.

The outbreak represents a human calamity first. The economic consequences, while substantial, are secondary. Our analysis notes the immediate human effects, and then assesses the likely consequences of those human effects upon the auto industry, including its workers and its customers.

Read the full original analysis here. The latest in our ongoing series, dated March 18, is available here.

Further analysis by Patrick Anderson can be obtained from his Detroit News Op-Ed column from February 20th, or by contacting Anderson Economic Group to arrange an interview.