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15 States Whose Auto Industries Were Hit Hardest During COVID-19

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on CoPilot.

Amid recent concerns about inflation, rising prices for new and used vehicles have received significant attention. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of vehicles increased by 11.8% for new cars and a whopping 37.3% for used cars from December 2020 to December 2021. Even in an environment of rising prices across the economy, the spike in vehicle prices stands out.

Many observers have pointed to ongoing challenges with the supply chain and a tight labor market as factors that are limiting supply and leading to an increase in prices. A shortage of semiconductor chips and other essential car components has hampered auto production, while backlogs at major ports are making it difficult to transport the vehicles and parts that are being produced.

Manufacturers have been struggling to staff plants at full capacity with the tightness of the labor market, a situation worsened by the surge in cases from the omicron variant. As a result of these factors, industry experts estimated that the industry could see a production shortfall of about 8 million vehicles.

To identify the U.S. states whose automotive industries were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at CoPilot calculated the percentage change in state automotive exports between 2019 and 2020.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Data. Researchers also calculated the percentage of total state exports accounted for by the automotive industry, as well as the automotive sector responsible for the most exports in 2020.

Here are the states whose auto industries were hit hardest during the pandemic.

15. California

Santa Monica, California
Natalia Macheda / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -23.3%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $11,085,046,400
  • Total auto exports (2019): $14,454,461,847
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 7.1%
  • Largest auto sector: Motor Vehicles (Electric Motor)

14. Maine

Portland, Maine
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -24.2%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $34,631,865
  • Total auto exports (2019): $45,680,861
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 1.5%
  • Largest auto sector: Trailers and Semitrailers

13. Delaware

Delaware Memorial Bridge
Artem Avetisyan / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -27.3%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $291,052,509
  • Total auto exports (2019): $400,590,517
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 7.4%
  • Largest auto sector: Passenger Vehicles (Internal Combustion)

12. Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -29.9%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $15,987,107,753
  • Total auto exports (2019): $22,813,060,777
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 36.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Motor Vehicles for Goods Transport

11. Indiana

Fort Wayne Indiana
Travis Eckert / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -30.5%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $7,012,902,262
  • Total auto exports (2019): $10,089,583,845
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 19.8%
  • Largest auto sector: Gear Boxes

10. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -30.7%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $153,882,650
  • Total auto exports (2019): $221,979,604
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 3.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Suspension Shock Absorbers

9. Ohio

Cleveland Ohio
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -32.9%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $5,933,273,841
  • Total auto exports (2019): $8,848,509,170
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 13.2%
  • Largest auto sector: Passenger Vehicles (Internal Combustion)

8. North Carolina

Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -33.2%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $900,084,365
  • Total auto exports (2019): $1,348,192,451
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 3.2%
  • Largest auto sector: Drive Axles

7. Tennessee

Nashville Tennessee traffic
Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -34.5%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $2,523,963,500
  • Total auto exports (2019): $3,851,343,633
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 9.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Passenger Vehicles (Internal Combustion)

6. Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Anton Foltin / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -35.2%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $387,614,930
  • Total auto exports (2019): $598,240,715
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 2.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Motor Vehicles for Goods Transport

5. Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -35.6%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $832,570,089
  • Total auto exports (2019): $1,293,755,497
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 5.1%
  • Largest auto sector: Road Tractors for Semi-trailers

4. Wyoming

Sheridan, Wyoming
Sandra Foyt / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -36.0%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $23,253,092
  • Total auto exports (2019): $36,316,995
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 2.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Bodies for Road Tractors

3. Pennsylvania

Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4kclips / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -45.0%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $1,136,532,516
  • Total auto exports (2019): $2,066,302,460
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 3.0%
  • Largest auto sector: Motorcycles

2. Washington

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -49.2%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $570,863,349
  • Total auto exports (2019): $1,124,850,637
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 1.4%
  • Largest auto sector: Road Tractors for Semitrailers

1. Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in auto exports (2019-2020): -51.0%
  • Total auto exports (2020): $577,561,521
  • Total auto exports (2019): $1,178,914,774
  • Auto exports as a share of total state exports: 5.6%
  • Largest auto sector: Passenger Vehicles (Internal Combustion)

Methodology

Working on computer data analysis on a laptop
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Data. To identify the U.S. states whose automotive industries were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers calculated the percentage change in state automotive exports between 2019 and 2020.

Researchers also calculated the percentage of total state exports accounted for by the automotive industry, as well as the automotive sector responsible for the most exports in 2020. To improve relevance, only states in which auto exports accounted for at least 1% of total state exports were included.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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