WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — February 23, 2021 — The COVID-19 outbreak left no stone unturned when it came to sinking industries. Restaurants and casinos shut down indefinitely, while the travel and automotive parts and equipment sectors saw massive revenue drops. As businesses and citizens alike slowly begin to bounce back from devastating loss and upheaval, the automotive industry is looking to the future in hopes of navigating 2021 with more grace and preparation.
By summer 2020, the automotive industry sank deep as parts and equipment ceased production to accommodate stay-at-home orders. After months of reassessment, the global industry struggles to find its footing as some major countries fall back into lockdown and others suffer high transmission rates. However, the automotive sector is far from idle. Like other enterprises, new, innovative initiatives have propelled struggling businesses forward into groundbreaking territory.
In 2021 automotive industries will look toward electrification, digitization, and communication efforts to streamline consumer processes and keep business moving during prolonged periods of stagnation. As executives push for progress, they’ll need to heed warnings from the past and implement security measures and safety precautions to ensure a steady incline.
COVID-19’s impact on the auto-shipping industry
Under COVID-19, vehicle transport services for auto dealerships suffered due to shutdowns and high-risk facilities. Shipping companies relied heavily upon tourism and travel sectors, which came to a screeching halt as the pandemic ravaged city after city. Demand decreased overnight, and revenue dropped significantly, causing auto-transport executives to switch gears.
Instead of pushing for less-strict stay-at-home orders, automotive shipping companies turned their efforts to disaster relief, using cargo ships and aircraft carriers to transport essential supplies and sanitary equipment worldwide. Although this sector of the automotive industry suffered initially and is still bouncing back, their efforts did not go unnoticed in helping aid victims and healthcare workers through the pandemic.
The automotive industry employs millions globally, which means mass shutdowns left most jobless and unsure of the future. Because supply chains and warehouses require employees to work in cramped, indoor spaces, often without access to sanitary provisions, the risk of transmission skyrocketed. As 2021 brings new viral strains and continued cases, executives must prioritize worker safety, which ultimately boosts their bottom line.
COVID-19 affected every sector of the world, but some businesses residing in hard-hitting areas of the world experienced mass delays and operations disruptions, completely obliterating their financial goals for 2020. With 2021 in full swing, many companies are still struggling to catch their footing, worrying about long-term effects that could affect assets, liquidity, and strategies going forward. Companies should vigorously track financials and attempt to establish a shock-absorbing tactical plan to account for future disasters.
COVID-19 significantly diminished consumer demand changing the face of the automotive industry with customers now preferring digital, remote care and refusing to purchase nonessential updates or maintenance. Automotive companies, from OEM’s to executive teams, have had to shift long-standing strategies to account for significant world crises and pandemic-induced consumer pattern shifts. Overall, strategists should focus on resilience, flexibility, and dexterity going forward instead of putting stringent time restraints in place, which can be easily knocked-back with delays and global disasters.
The Bottom Line
Companies felt the shockwaves of the pandemic as it ravaged every global industry. As the automotive industry—along with various other sectors—regains its footing and navigate an unprecedented, uncontrollable future, fundamental changes have been implemented to mitigate adverse effects and predict future crises more accurately. Flexibility and resilience are critical for strategists and executives as they work tirelessly to keep businesses booming and employees safe from deadly outbreaks.