Global auto-industry mergers and acquisitions saw total deal value decline by 19 per cent to $77.5 billion (all figures in USD) in 2019, according to PwC's annual M&A report released Thursday.
But deal values in the quarter were the highest in the decade, with eight deals of more than $1 billion — including Fiat Chrysler and PSA's blockbuster deal valued at $30.1 billion by PwC (the deal carried a combined market value of $47 billion). That brought the M&A cycle full circle from the end of the Great Recession, the report said.
In 2019, total deal volume dropped 18 per cent to 867 deals compared with 2018.
"Technology and supplier consolidation drove M&A activity in the latter half of the decade and will continue to push activity as we move forward in the 2020s," Paul Elie, industrial products deal leader at PwC, said in the release.
"The start of this decade will also see a shift in deals as vehicle manufacturers and suppliers team up to share costs and push their technological bets into the market."
Average deal size in 2019 dropped just 1 per cent to $269.2 million compared with 2018, the report said.
"The middle of the decade created momentum to the recovery, and the latter half accelerated growth and excitement as new technologies and market entrants brought radical changes to how consumers view mobility solutions," PwC said in the release. "But now we face some new uncertainties as lower vehicle-sales projections and trade tensions create roadblocks to maneuver."