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June 2021 | Companies

What has been the impact of the Coronavirus on the Spanish automotive supplier sector in 2020?

According to the data presented by the Spanish Association of Automotive Suppliers (SERNAUTO), in 2020 the Spanish automotive components industry suffered a setback in all its indicators, as a result of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic at a global level.

The automotive suppliers sector had a turnover of 30.2 billion euros, which is 15.7% less than in 2019. Although the reduction has been smaller than expected and lower than the fall in vehicle production, it is a step back to figures prior to 2015.

Despite the complex situation experienced in 2020, suppliers continued to allocate a high level of investment to R&D& in order to face with guarantees the industrial change and continue at the forefront of technology. In 2020, they invested 3.6% of their turnover in R&D&I, i.e., a total of 1.07 billion euros. This is three times the average of the industry. 

In 2020, the sector employed a total of 344,500 people (directly and indirectly). Direct employment generated by the sector amounted to 212,500 jobs, 5.7% less than in 2019. This direct employment is characterised by being stable, high-quality and spread throughout Spain. 

The effort of this industry to remain competitive and adapt to the needs of its customers can be seen in the fact that in 2020 they invested 1.34 billion euros to increase and improve their productive capacities, which implies 29.6% less than in 2019.

In 2020, the sector exported some 17.9 billion euros, 13.8% less than in 2019, as a result of the severe drop in the global trade of automotive products caused by COVID-19. Exports account for almost 60% of the sector's turnover. This strong export-oriented nature has prevented the fall in turnover from being greater.

What are the forecasts for the automotive components sector for 2021?

According to the first estimates of SERNAUTO, in 2021 the turnover will increase by around 10% compared to 2020, but predictably pre-pandemic levels will not be recovered until 2022.

As regards employment, it is estimated that suppliers will maintain the 2020 job figures.

José Portilla, Managing Director of SERNAUTO, highlights that “as evidenced in our Strategic Agenda 2025, the automotive supplier industry is going through a critical time for its future. The 2020 data show the need to strengthen the entire automotive value chain, for which having European funds will be vital. The sector is synonymous with innovation and quality employment, a strategic sector for the Spanish economy and society, which we must all take care of and support together".
 

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