Automotive industry

A video showing new Škoda & Volkswagen cars being transported by rail at Kutná Hora město train station in the Czech Republic

The automotive industry is a wide range of companies and organizations involved in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing, and selling of motor vehicles,[1] some of them are called automakers. It is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue. The automotive industry does not include industries dedicated to the maintenance of automobiles following delivery to the end-user, such as automobile repair shops and motor fuel filling stations.

The term automotive was created from Greek autos (self), and Latin motivus (of motion) to represent any form of self-powered vehicle. This term was proposed by SAE member Elmer Sperry.[2]


Thomas B. Jeffery automobile factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, c.1916
Citroën assembly line in 1918

The automotive industry began in the 1890s with hundreds of manufacturers that pioneered the horseless carriage. For many decades, the United States led the world in total automobile production. In 1929 before the Great Depression, the world had 32,028,500 automobiles in use, and the U.S. automobile industry produced over 90% of them. At that time the U.S. had one car per 4.87 persons.[3] After World War II, the U.S. produced about 75 percent of world's auto production. In 1980, the U.S. was overtaken by Japan and became world's leader again in 1994. In 2006, Japan narrowly passed the U.S. in production and held this rank until 2009, when China took the top spot with 13.8 million units. With 19.3 million units manufactured in 2012, China almost doubled the U.S. production, with 10.3 million units, while Japan was in third place with 9.9 million units.[4] From 1970 (140 models) over 1998 (260 models) to 2012 (684 models), the number of automobile models in the U.S. has grown exponentially.[5]


Main article: Automobile safety

Safety is a state that implies to be protected from any risk, danger, damage or cause of injury. In the automotive industry, safety means that users, operators or manufacturers do not face any risk or danger coming from the motor vehicle or its spare parts. Safety for the automobiles themselves, implies that there is no risk of damage.

Safety in the automotive industry is particularly important and therefore highly regulated. Automobiles and other motor vehicles have to comply with a certain number of norms and regulations, whether local or international, in order to be accepted on the market. The standard ISO 26262, is considered as one of the best practice framework for achieving automotive functional safety.[6]

In case of safety issues, danger, product defect or faulty procedure during the manufacturing of the motor vehicle, the maker can request to return either a batch or the entire production run. This procedure is called product recall. Product recalls happen in every industry and can be production-related or stem from the raw material.

Product and operation tests and inspections at different stages of the value chain are made to avoid these product recalls by ensuring end-user security and safety and compliance with the automotive industry requirements. However, the automotive industry is still particularly concerned about product recalls, which cause considerable financial consequences.


Around the world, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007, consuming over 980 billion litres (980,000,000 m3) of gasoline and diesel fuel yearly.[7] The automobile is a primary mode of transportation for many developed economies. The Detroit branch of Boston Consulting Group predicts that, by 2014, one-third of world demand will be in the four BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Meanwhile, in the developed countries, the automotive industry has slowed down.[8] It is also expected that this trend will continue, especially as the younger generations of people (in highly urbanized countries) no longer want to own a car anymore, and prefer other modes of transport.[9] Other potentially powerful automotive markets are Iran and Indonesia.[10] Emerging auto markets already buy more cars than established markets. According to a J.D. Power study, emerging markets accounted for 51 percent of the global light-vehicle sales in 2010. The study, performed in 2010 expected this trend to accelerate.[11][12] However, more recent reports (2012) confirmed the opposite; namely that the automotive industry was slowing down even in BRIC countries.[8] In the United States, vehicle sales peaked in 2000, at 17.8 million units.[13]

World motor vehicle production

World Motor Vehicle Production[14]
Production volume (1000 vehicles)

1960s; Post war increase

1970s; Oil crisis and tighter safety and emission regulation.

1990s; production started in NICs

2000s; rise of China as top producer

Automotive industry crisis of 2008–2010
to 1950; USA had produced more than 80% of motor vehicles.[15]

1950s; UK, Germany and France restarted production.

1960s; Japan started production and increased volume through the 1980s. US, Japan, Germany, France and UK produced about 80% of motor vehicles through the 1980s.

1990s; Korea became a volume producer. In 2004, Korea became No. 5 passing France.

2000s; China increased its production drastically, and 2009 became the world largest producing country.

2013; The share of China (25.4%), Korea, India, Brazil and Mexico rose to 43%, while the share of USA (12.7%), Japan, Germany, France and UK fell to 34%.

By year

Global production of motorvehicles

(cars and commercial vehicles)

Year Production Change Source
1997 54,434,000   [16]
1998 52,987,000 -2.7% [16]
1999 56,258,892 6.2% [17]
2000 58,374,162 3.8% [18]
2001 56,304,925 -3.5% [19]
2002 58,994,318 4.8% [20]
2003 60,663,225 2.8% [21]
2004 64,496,220 6.3% [22]
2005 66,482,439 3.1% [23]
2006 69,222,975 4.1% [24]
2007 73,266,061 5.8% [25]
2008 70,520,493 -3.7% [26]
2009 61,791,868 -12.4% [27]
2010 77,857,705 26.0% [28]
2011 79,989,155 3.1% [29]
2012 84,141,209 5.3% [30]
2013 87,300,115 3.7% [31]
2014 89,747,430 2.6% [32]
Car Exports by Country (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity

By country

Top 20 motor vehicle producing countries 2015
Country Motor vehicle production (units)
 United States
 South Korea
 United Kingdom
 Czech Republic

"Production Statistics". OICA. 

By manufacturer

Rank of manufacturers by production in 2013[33]

Rank Group Country Total Cars LCV HCV Heavy Bus
1Toyota Japan10,324,9958,565,1761,481,722272,4115,686
2General Motors United States9,628,9126,733,1922,890,9584,762
3Volkswagen Germany9,379,229 9,259,506 119,723
4Hyundai South Korea7,233,0806,909,194242,02167,29014,575
5Ford United States6,077,1263,317,0482,667,22092,858
6Nissan Japan4,950,9244,090,677837,33122,916
7Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy4,681,7042,163,0402,350,697124,13143,836
8Honda Japan4,298,3904,263,23935,151
9Suzuki Japan2,842,1332,452,573389,560
10Groupe PSA France2,833,7812,445,889387,892
11Renault  France2,704,6752,347,913356,762
12BMW Germany2,006,3662,006,366
13SAIC China1,992,2501,685,392231,37474,4311,053
14Daimler Germany1,781,5071,631,502150,005
15Mazda Japan1,264,1731,175,44388,730
16Dongfeng China1,238,948642,092226,319357,41413,123
17Mitsubishi Japan1,229,4411,090,571135,3063,564
18Changan China1,109,889873,794166,05670,039
19Tata India1,062,654650,708279,511117,42515,010
20Geely China969,896969,896
21BAIC China918,879243,437285,947384,4255,070
22Fuji (Subaru) Japan808,919808,919
23Brilliance China782,904479,335264,21039,359
24FAW China717,883448,29061,822203,8953,876
25Mahindra & Mahindra India584,534407,563173,3982,23371,236
26Great Wall China557,564430,423127,141
27Isuzu Japan532,966 36,094494,9071,965
28JAC China517,577206,132120,588174,57116,286
29BYD China510,950510,950
30AvtoVAZ Russia507,242495,01312,229

OICA[34] defines these entries as follows:

Company relationships

It is common for automobile manufacturers to hold stakes in other automobile manufacturers. These ownerships can be explored under the detail for the individual companies.

Notable current relationships include:

Top vehicle manufacturing groups by volume

The table below shows the world's largest motor vehicle manufacturing groups, along with the marques produced by each one. The table is ranked by 2013 production figures from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA)[33] for the parent group, and then alphabetically by marque. Joint ventures are not reflected in this table. Production figures of joint ventures are typically included in OICA rankings, which can become a source of controversy.[36][37]

Marque Country of origin Ownership Markets
1. Toyota Motor Corporation ( Japan)
DaihatsuJapan SubsidiaryEurope, Asia (except South Korea), Africa, South America
HinoJapan SubsidiarySouth East Asia, Japan, North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean
LexusJapan Business UnitSouth East Asia, China, Japan, South Korea, Middle East, United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India
RanzChina Business UnitChina
ToyotaJapan DivisionGlobal, except Iran
2. General Motors Company ( United States)
BuickUnited States Business UnitNorth America, China, Israel
CadillacUnited States Business UnitNorth America, Europe, Middle East, China, Japan, South Korea
ChevroletUnited States Business UnitGlobal, except Australia, New Zealand
GMCUnited States Business UnitNorth America, Middle East (except Israel)
Holden Australia SubsidiaryAustralia, New Zealand
JieFangChina Business UnitChina
Opel Germany Business UnitEurope (except United Kingdom), North Africa, South Africa, Middle East, China, Singapore, Chile
Vauxhall United Kingdom Business UnitUnited Kingdom
UzDaewoo Uzbekistan Business UnitCentral Asia, Russia
WulingChina Business UnitChina
3. Volkswagen Group AG ( Germany)
AudiGermany SubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran
BentleyUnited Kingdom SubsidiaryGlobal
BugattiFrance SubsidiaryGlobal
LamborghiniItaly SubsidiaryGlobal
MANGermany SubsidiaryGlobal, except North America, Australia
PorscheGermany SubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran
SEATSpain SubsidiaryEurope, Mexico, Central America, South America, Middle East, Northern Africa
ŠkodaCzech Republic SubsidiaryEurope, Asia, Central America, South America, Dominican Republic, Northern Africa, Western Africa, Australia, New Zealand
VolkswagenGermany DivisionGlobal
Volkswagen Commercial VehiclesGermany SubsidiaryEurope, Central America, South America, Australia, China
VTBBrazil Business UnitBrazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa
4. Hyundai Motor Group ( South Korea)
GenesisSouth Korea Business UnitSouth Korea, China, United States, Canada, Middle East
HyundaiSouth Korea DivisionGlobal
KiaSouth Korea SubsidiaryGlobal, except Japan
5. Ford Motor Company ( United States)
FordUnited States DivisionGlobal
LincolnUnited States Business UnitNorth America, Middle East, Japan, South Korea, China
Troller Veículos Especiais Brazil SubsidiarySouth America, Africa, Australia, Europe
6. Nissan ( Japan)
DatsunJapan DivisionIndonesia, India, Russia, South Africa
InfinitiJapan SubsidiaryGlobal, except Japan, South America (excluding Chile), Africa (excluding South Africa)
NissanJapan DivisionGlobal
VenuciaChina Business UnitChina
7. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ( Italy /  United States)
AbarthItaly SubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran
Alfa RomeoItaly SubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran, China, Taiwan, the Philippines
ChryslerUnited States DivisionGlobal, except Europe (excluding United Kingdom, Ireland), Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia
DodgeUnited States DivisionGlobal, except Europe, Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia
Fiat Italy SubsidiaryGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia
Fiat Professional Italy Business UnitGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia, United States, Canada
JeepUnited States DivisionGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia
LanciaItaly DivisionEurope (excluding United Kingdom, Ireland)
MaseratiItaly SubsidiaryGlobal
RamUnited States DivisionNorth America, Brazil, Middle East, Peru
8. Honda Motor Company ( Japan)
AcuraJapan DivisionNorth America, China
EverusChina Business UnitChina
HondaJapan DivisionGlobal
9. Suzuki Motor Corporation ( Japan)
SuzukiJapan DivisionGlobal, except United States, Canada, North Korea, South Korea
Maruti SuzukiIndia SubsidiaryIndia, Middle East, South America
10. PSA Peugeot Citroën S.A. ( France)
CitroënFrance SubsidiaryGlobal,except North America, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
PeugeotFrance SubsidiaryGlobal, except United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
DS AutomobilesFrance SubsidiaryGlobal, except North America, South Asia (excluding Malaysia)

Car makes and their parent companies

The table below lists most car makes and their parent companies.

Parent (Owner) Make Make Country Parent Country
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Abarth  Italy  Italy/ United States
Honda Acura  Japan  Japan
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Alfa Romeo  Italy  Italy/ United States
General Motors Alpheon  South Korea  United States
Renault Alpine  France  France
Aston Martin Aston Martin  United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Volkswagen Group Audi  Germany  Germany
SAIC-GM-Wuling Baojun  China  China/ United States
Volkswagen Group Bentley  United Kingdom  Germany
BMW BMW  Germany  Germany
Brilliance Brilliance  China  China
Volkswagen Group Bugatti  France  Germany
General Motors Buick  United States  United States
BYD BYD  China  China
General Motors Cadillac  United States  United States
Caterham Caterham  United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Chang'an Chang'an  China  China
General Motors Chevrolet  United States  United States
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chrysler  United States  Italy/ United States
PSA Peugeot Citroën Citroën  France  France
Renault Dacia  Romania  France
Toyota Daihatsu  Japan  Japan
Nissan Datsun  Japan  Japan
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Dodge  United States  Italy/ United States
Dongfeng Dongfeng  China  China
PSA Peugeot Citroën DS  France  France
Dongfeng Fengshen  China  China
Ferrari s.P.a Ferrari  Italy  Italy/ United States
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Fiat  Italy  Italy/ United States
Wanxiang Fisker  United States  China
Ford Ford  United States  United States
Geely Geely  China  China
Hyundai Motor Group Genesis  South Korea  South Korea
General Motors GMC  United States  United States
Toyota Hino Motors  Japan  Japan
General Motors Holden (HSV)  Australia  United States
Honda Honda  Japan  Japan
Hyundai Motor Group Hyundai  South Korea  South Korea
Nissan Infiniti  Japan  Japan
Isuzu Motors Isuzu  Japan  Japan
Tata Motors Jaguar  United Kingdom  India
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep  United States  Italy/ United States
FAW Jie Fang / FAW-GM Jie Fang  China  China/ United States
Kantanka Group Conglomerate Kantanka  Ghana  Ghana
Koenigsegg Koenigsegg  Sweden  Sweden
Hyundai Motor Group Kia  South Korea  South Korea
AvtoVAZ Lada  Russia  Russia
Volkswagen Group Lamborghini  Italy  Germany
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Lancia  Italy  Italy/ United States
Tata Motors Land Rover  United Kingdom  India
Toyota Lexus  Japan  Japan
Ford Lincoln  United States  United States
PROTON Lotus  United Kingdom  Malaysia
Geely LTI  United Kingdom  China
Yulon Motor Luxgen  Taiwan  Taiwan
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Maserati  Italy  Italy/ United States
Mastretta Mastretta  Mexico  Mexico
Daimler AG Maybach  Germany  Germany
Mazda Mazda  Japan  Japan
McLaren Automotive McLaren  United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz  Germany  Germany
SAIC Motor MG  United Kingdom  China
BMW Mini  United Kingdom  Germany
Nissan / Mitsubishi Group Mitsubishi  Japan  Japan
Morgan Motor Company Morgan  United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Nissan Nissan  Japan  Japan
Peter Dyson Noble  United Kingdom  United Kingdom
General Motors Opel  Germany  United States
Pagani Automobili Pagani  Italy  Italy
Perodua Perodua  Malaysia  Malaysia
PSA Peugeot Citroën Peugeot  France  France
Volkswagen Group Porsche  Germany  Germany
Proton Holdings PROTON  Malaysia  Malaysia
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Ram  United States  Italy/ United States
Renault Renault  France  France
SAIC Motor Roewe  China  China
BMW Rolls Royce  United Kingdom  Germany
Saleen Saleen  United States  United States
Iran Khodro (IKCO) Samand  Iran  Iran
Renault Renault Samsung Motors  South Korea  France
National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) Saab  Sweden  Sweden
Toyota Scion  Japan  Japan
Volkswagen Group SEAT  Spain  Germany
BAIC Motor Senova  China  China
Volkswagen Group Škoda  Czech Republic  Germany
Daimler AG Smart  Germany  Germany
Mahindra & Mahindra SsangYong  South Korea  India
Fuji Heavy Industries Subaru  Japan  Japan
Suzuki Suzuki  Japan  Japan
Tata Motors Tata  India  India
Tesla Tesla  United States  United States
Saipa Tiba/Miniator  Iran  Iran
Toyota Toyota  Japan  Japan
General Motors Vauxhall  United Kingdom  United States
Dongfeng-Nissan Venucia  China  China/ Japan
Volkswagen Group Volkswagen  Germany  Germany
Geely Volvo Cars  Sweden  China
Vuhl Vuhl  Mexico  Mexico
SAIC-GM-Wuling Wuling  China  China/ United States

See also


  1. "automotive industry". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  2. Scientific and Technical Societies of the United States (Eighth ed.). Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences. 1968. p. 164. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  3. "U.S. Makes Ninety Percent of World's Automobiles". Popular Science. 115 (5): 84. November 1929. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  4. "2012 Production Statistics". OICA. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  5. Aichner, T.; Coletti, P (2013). "Customers' online shopping preferences in mass customization". Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice. 15 (1): 20–35.
  6. "ISO 26262-10:2012 Road vehicles -- Functional safety -- Part 10: Guideline on ISO 26262". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  7. "Automobile Industry Introduction". Plunkett Research. 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  8. 1 2 Khor, Martin. "Developing economies slowing down". Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  9. "2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study : Exploring consumer preferences and mobility choices in Europe" (PDF). Deloittelcom. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-04. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  10. Eisenstein, Paul A. "Building BRIC's: 4 Markets Could Soon Dominate the Auto World".
  11. Bertel Schmitt (15 February 2011). "Auto industry sets new world record". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  12. "Global Automotive Outlook for 2011 Appears Positive as Mature Auto Markets Recover, Emerging Markets Continue to Expand". J.D. Power and Associates. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  13. "U.S. vehicle sales peaked in 2000". 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  14. "Table 1-23: World Motor Vehicle Production, Selected Countries (Thousands of vehicles) | Bureau of Transportation Statistics". Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  15. "Arno A. Evers FAIR-PR". Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  16. 1 2 "1998 - 1997 WORLD MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTION BY TYPE AND ECONOMIC AREA" (pdf). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  17. "1999 Production Statistics".
  18. "2000 Production Statistics".
  19. "2001 Production Statistics".
  20. "2002 Production Statistics".
  21. "2003 Production Statistics".
  22. "2004 Production Statistics".
  23. "2005 Production Statistics".
  24. "2006 Production Statistics".
  25. "2007 Production Statistics".
  26. "2008 Production Statistics".
  27. "2009 Production Statistics".
  28. "2010 Production Statistics".
  29. "2011 Production Statistics".
  30. "2012 Production Statistics".
  31. "2013 Production Statistics".
  32. "2014 Production Statistics".
  33. 1 2 "World Motor Vehicle Production: World Ranking of Manufacturers Year 2013" (PDF). OICA. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  34. "Definitions" (PDF). OICA. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  35. "Nissan to take 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  36. "GM Slips to Number Two Worldwide, Ford to Fourth". The Truth About Cars. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  37. "TTAC Announces World's Top Ten Automakers". The Truth About Cars. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-12.

External links

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