During an online conference hosted by UK auto association SMMT, VW sales boss Christian Dahlheim spoke about the car industry bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels, stating that the recovery could last into 2022 as far as Europe is concerned.
He also said that in terms of global markets, China will most likely recover the quickest, while the U.S. market’s recovery remains somewhat difficult to predict.
“The U.S. is probably the same picture as Europe, but it is probably the most difficult to predict.”
The German carmaker thus expects to see a V-shaped recovery going forward into 2022. “The question is how steep is that V,” stated Dahlheim.
While the VW exec didn’t expand on why the U.S. recovery is more difficult to forecast, analysts have claimed that a rebound could be halted by a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“There is a threat of demand being impacted by another wave of the pandemic,” said Cox Automotive economist Jonathan Smoke in an interview with Autonews earlier this month.
As for where Dahlheim’s optimism lies, it is with China, the VW Group’s largest market.
“In China the V has been very steep so we expect China to come back to normal levels. It’s already [there] right now and will continue to do so.”
Then there’s South America, where the turnaround could “last well into 2023,” added the sales exec, who also believes that economic recovery will be impacted by the resulting increase in national debt moving forward.
“So far we see very encouraging signs of demand recovery as the dealers reopen, but we do expect a certain economic impact. The governments still have to pay back the money.”