European Steel Association EUROFER in latest Economic and steel market outlook 2022-2023 said that “In the fourth quarter of 2021, the automotive sector's output dropped for the second consecutive quarter by 14.6%, after 15.32% in the third quarter). The sector experienced a rebound starting from the third quarter of 2020, due to the end of lockdown measures and culminating in an exceptional increase of 65% in the second quarter. Output in the automotive sector recovered modestly by 3.8% in 2021 after the severe drop experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic by 16.7%. EUROFER said “The year 2020 was the second recession in a row after 2019. The EU automotive sector had already experienced its worst slump during the euro area crisis of 2010-2012, when the recession was even bigger at 26.3%. In 2020, the automotive sector was the hardest hit among all steel-using sectors. Its output has been on a downward path since the third quarter of 2018: sluggish domestic and export demand, trade-related uncertainties, emissions rules, shifting patterns in ownership and model ranges had been felt all over 2019 before the onset of the pandemic. The continued supply chain issues experienced over the summer of 2021 increasingly resulted in shortage of components and semiconductors, rise in energy prices and production costs, slowdown in global trade. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in late February 2022 has worsened the already subdued outlook even further.”This situation also contributed to continued depressed demand and consumer uncertainty. The latest passenger car registrations data show that car sales in the EU fell by 12.3% in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to 20.5% in March. Most individual countries recorded double-digit drops in sales, including the four key marketsSpain - 30.2%Italy - 29.7%France - 19.5%Germany - 17.5%Automotive industry forecast 2022-2023 -- After a severe slump of 16.71 in 2020 due to the pandemic, in 2021 automotive output is set to modestly rebound by 3.81. The sector is expected is grow a bit more robustly in 2022 by 4.91, despite the severe repercussions of the ongoing supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine. Growth is expected to be largely due to the rebound in output of some major economies, mainly Germany, after three consecutive slumps from 2019 to 2021. The already mentioned supply chain disruptions have started to impact considerably the automotive industry around the third quarter of 2021 and are expected to persist at least throughout 2022. In addition, subdued consumer confidence, due to modest disposable income, has been impacting car demand since the second half of 2018. The latter is expected to remain weak until the macroeconomic picture and consumer disposable income substantially improves -now even less likely given the worsening economic outlook. Uncertainties around the implementation of EV and delays in the launch of new models, many hybrid or fully electric, and lack of charging facilities have proven unsupportive factors of consumer demand and have also delayed investment decisions by carmakers. Full recovery in global trade and external demand from major markets such as the US, China and Turkey will remain a key factor for EU car exporters, but this is not likely to materialize as long as the uncertainty linked to the war in Ukraine and global supply chain disruptions persist. In the longer-term, however, political commitment (Fit for 55, etc) at EU level towards the full adoption of EV by 2035 will prove somewhat supportive, despite the fact that general car demand appears to be dependent on fragile consumer confidence throughout 2022 and 2023. As a result, 2023 is expected to be another difficult year for the sector, with a very feeble growth in output of 0.81.