Automotive industry and Covid-19 | CDP

Automotive industry and Covid-19

The automotive industry is one of the most complex manufacturing chains of strategic importance for the Italian economy. What are the consequences of COVID-19 for this market?

Read the key messages from the study and download the PDF for all the insights.


  • The automotive supply chain is one of the most complex, with a vehicle composed on average of approximately 20,000 parts produced by different suppliers.
  • Production is concentrated in China (27%) followed by Europe (24%), where it is the number one sector for research and development spending.
  • In Italy the sector generates a turnover of about €52 billion and employs 175,000 people.
  • On international markets, the sector is characterised by a marked regional footprint, with 67% of Italian automotive exports destined for the European Union.
  • In this context, Germany absorbs around 20% of the added value that Italian manufacturing sectors devote to the global automotive chain.
  • Before the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive industry was on the eve of a great revolution towards electric cars, boosted by processes of aggregation and partnership.
  • For 2020 the most recent estimates show a fall in production of more than 20%.
  • The setback to the industry could result in a deferral of investment programmes and a slowdown in the transition to electric vehicles.
  • This could enable Europe, if there is an appropriate strategy to support the sector, to catch up to our Chinese and US competitors.
  • In this context, the Italian supply chain can count on a medium-large, innovative, resilient and well-positioned automotive system in global value chains. The challenge will be to seize the opportunities that will arise from the new European production geographies.
Read the brief (Available in Italian)