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What We Expect for the Automotive Industry After COVID-19

A look at the automakers and suppliers that are best positioned to benefit from the industry's recovery.

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We expect the automotive industry’s recovery from pandemic-driven lows to begin in earnest in 2021. After U.S. light-vehicle sales came in far below forecast in 2020 (14.6 million compared with our initial prepandemic estimate of 16.5 million), we expect about a low-double-digit percentage increase to 16.0 million-16.2 million in 2021.

Though some of the automakers that we expect to play the biggest roles in this recovery do not have moats (such as General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM), and Volkswagen (VWAPY), we believe that there is value to be found elsewhere in the automotive industry, such as in suppliers--particularly Adient (ADNT) and BorgWarner (BWA).

Richard Hilgert does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.