“We are waiting for the world to restart. We had two months of literally zero car production, especially in Europe. The production and sales disruption in Europe was bigger than in China.” said Emanuele Grimaldi, one of the co-owners of Italy’s Grimaldi Group SpA, one of the world’s biggest fleets of car carriers and heavy equipment movers.
Grimaldi Group is a heavyweight in the international transport of automobiles, trucks, railcars and other vehicles. The company has a fleet of 50 RORO ships to carry vehicles including the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, along with Ford Motor Co., Volvo AB and General Motors Co.
“There is a time lag of about a month or more from production to sales. There is pent-up demand, but forecasts that we will be fully back in the fall and car sales will be stronger in October and November than last year are optimistic.” Mr Grimaldi further added.
Due to world pandemic, many factories shut down around the world. Starting from China and then Europe and North America. According to data provider J.D Power, U.S. car sales fell 28.8% year-over-year in May to 1,128,887 units, leading to sales in 2020 between 12.6 million to 14.5 million vehicles. Further, this will be a down from a 16.8 million estimate before the pandemic.
One of the largest operators of the chunky, workhorse vessels known as car carriers, Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen AS, reported a $285 million net loss in the first quarter and dropped 14 vessels from its fleet.
Grimaldi Group has decided to scrap a number of older ships along with returning seven chartered vessels because of the falling demand.
Credit to: WSJ