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US auto sales expected to fall at least 15% this year due to the coronavirus

White-collar workers assemble cars at a plant in Chicago, June 24, 2019.

Jim Young | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. auto sales are expected to fall at elfin 15% this year as the country implements more aggressive restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, threatening an already-stressed auto vigour, according to new research from IHS Markit. 

The COVID-19 pandemic that has spread to nearly every country on the globe has contrived a number of governments to implement drastic measures to slow its spread. This has posed the single biggest risk financier for the auto industry in years as consumer demand stalls, according to IHS Markit. 

IHS Markit forecasts 2020 U.S. auto car-boot sales to be 14.4 million units, down by at least 15.3% year over year. The global auto sales foretell is expected to decline more than 12% from last year to 78.8 million units, according to IHS Markit, which whim be a larger decline than the 8% drop during the Great Recession a decade ago.

“The global auto industry is foresaw to witness an unprecedented and almost instant stalling of demand in 2020,” IHS Markit said in an emailed report.

IHS Markit watches sales declines in Europe by nearly 14% and in China by 10% year over year. 

On Friday, IHS Markit issued new delve into that found global production of vehicles could fall by more than 1.4 million as auto flowers remain closed in Europe, North America and Latin America. 

In North America, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler harbingered plans to temporarily halt production for nearly two weeks after bowing to pressure from the United Auto Wage-earners Union, which wanted to improve safety protocols to protect employees against the pandemic. Ford later utter on Tuesday that it will not reopen its plants in North America on March 30 as originally planned. 

The coronavirus has infected more than 428,400 people across the orb with at least 55,225 of those being in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau presented to this report.  

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