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Automotive industry

File:Škoda cars being transported by rail at Kutná Hora město train station, Czech Republic - 20140710.ogv
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] 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]


File:Thomas B Jeffery Works Drawing.jpg
Thomas B. Jeffery automobile factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, c.1916

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 Script error: No such module "convert". 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.[13]In the United States, vehicle sales peaked in 2000, at 17.8 million units.[14]

World motor vehicle production

World Motor Vehicle Production[15]
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.[16]

1950s; UK, Germany and France restarted production.

1960s; Japan started production and increased volume through the 1980s. US, Japan, Germany, France and UK had 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   [17]
1998 52,987,000 -2.7% [17]
1999 56,258,892 6.2% [18]
2000 58,374,162 3.8% [19]
2001 56,304,925 -3.5% [20]
2002 58,994,318 4.8% [21]
2003 60,663,225 2.8% [22]
2004 64,496,220 6.3% [23]
2005 66,482,439 3.1% [24]
2006 69,222,975 4.1% [25]
2007 73,266,061 5.8% [26]
2008 70,520,493 -3.7% [27]
2009 61,791,868 -12.4% [28]
2010 77,857,705 26.0% [29]
2011 79,989,155 3.1% [30]
2012 84,141,209 5.3% [31]
2013 87,300,115 3.7% [32]

By country

File:2012 Automobile Export Treemap.png
Automobile Export Gross value Treemap (2012)[33]
This map showing only gross export amount. USA was the largest net importer, also UK and France are net importers.

By manufacturer

Rank of manufacturers by production in 2013[34]

Rank Group Country Total Cars LCV HCV Heavy Bus
1 Toyota Template:Country data Japan 10,324,995 8,565,176 1,481,722 272,411 5,686
2 GM 23x15px United States 9,628,912 6,733,192 2,890,958 4,762
3 Volkswagen Group 23x15px Germany 9,379,229 9,259,506 119,723
4 Hyundai Template:Country data South Korea 7,233,080 6,909,194 242,021 67,290 14,575
5 Ford 23x15px United States 6,077,126 3,317,048 2,667,220 92,858
6 Nissan Template:Country data Japan 4,950,924 4,090,677 837,331 22,916
7 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 23x15px Italy / 23x15px United States 4,681,704 2,163,040 2,350,697 124,131 43,836
8 Honda Template:Country data Japan 4,298,390 4,263,239 35,151
9 Suzuki Template:Country data Japan 2,842,133 2,452,573 389,560
10 PSA 23x15px France 2,833,781 2,445,889 387,892
11 Renault 23x15px France 2,704,675 2,347,913 356,762
12 BMW 23x15px Germany 2,006,366 2,006,366
13 SAIC 23x15px China 1,992,250 1,685,392 231,374 74,431 1,053
14 Daimler AG 23x15px Germany 1,781,507 1,631,502 150,005
15 Mazda Template:Country data Japan 1,264,173 1,175,443 88,730
16 Dongfeng Motor 23x15px China 1,238,948 642,092 226,319 357,414 13,123
17 Mitsubishi Template:Country data Japan 1,229,441 1,090,571 135,306 3,564
18 Changan 23x15px China 1,109,889 873,794 166,056 70,039
19 Tata Template:Country data India 1,062,654 650,708 279,511 117,425 15,010
20 Geely 23x15px China 969,896 969,896
21 BAIC 23x15px China 918,879 243,437 285,947 384,425 5,070
22 Fuji Template:Country data Japan 808,919 808,919
23 Brilliance 23x15px China 782,904 479,335 264,210 39,359
24 FAW 23x15px China 717,883 448,290 61,822 203,895 3,876
25 Mahindra Template:Country data India 584,534 407,563 173,398 2,2337 1,236
26 Great Wall 23x15px China 557,564 430,423 127,141
27 Isuzu Template:Country data Japan 532,966 36,094 494,907 1,965
28 JAC 23x15px China 517,577 206,132 120,588 174,571 16,286
29 BYD 23x15px China 510,950 510,950
30 AvtoVAZ 23x15px Russia 507,242 495,013 12,229

OICA[35] defines these entries as follows:

  • Passenger cars are motor vehicles with at least four wheels, used for the transport of passengers, and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.
  • Light commercial vehicles (LCV) are motor vehicles with at least four wheels, used for the carriage of goods. Mass given in tons (metric tons) is used as a limit between light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks. This limit depends on national and professional definitions and varies between 3.5 and 7 tons. Minibuses, derived from light commercial vehicles, are used for the transport of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat and having a maximum mass between 3.5 and 7 tons.
  • Heavy trucks (HCV) are vehicles intended for the carriage of goods. Maximum authorised mass is over the limit (ranging from 3.5 to 7 tons) of light commercial vehicles. They include tractor vehicles designed for towing semi-trailers.
  • Buses and coaches are used for the transport of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, and having a maximum mass over the limit (ranging from 3.5 to 7 tones) of light commercial vehicles.

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:[citation needed]

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)[34] 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 (Template:Country data Japan)
Daihatsu Template:Country data JPN Subsidiary Europe, Asia (except South Korea), Africa, and South America
Hino Template:Country data JPN Subsidiary South East Asia, Japan, North America (except United States) and South America
Lexus Template:Country data JPN Business Unit South East Asia, Japan, Middle East, United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, Panama, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India
Ranz 23x15px Business Unit China
Scion 23x15px Division United States, Canada
Toyota Template:Country data JPN Division Global, except Iran
2. General Motors Company (23x15px United States)
Buick 23x15px Business Unit United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Israel
Cadillac 23x15px Business Unit North America, Europe, Middle East, China, Japan, South Korea
Chevrolet 23x15px Business Unit Global, except Australia, New Zealand
GMC 23x15px Business Unit North America, Middle East (except Israel)
Holden 23x15px Subsidiary Australia, New Zealand
JieFang 23x15px Business Unit China
Opel 23x15px Business Unit Europe (except UK), North Africa, South Africa, Middle East, China, Singapore, Chile
Vauxhall 23x15px Business Unit United Kingdom
UzDaewoo 23x15px Business Unit Central Asia, Russia
Wuling 23x15px Business Unit China
3. Volkswagen Group AG (23x15px Germany)
Audi 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Bentley 23x15px Subsidiary Global
Bugatti 23x15px Subsidiary Global
Lamborghini 23x15px Subsidiary Global
Ducati 23x15px Subsidiary Global
MAN 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except North America and Australia
Porsche 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Scania 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Canada
SEAT 23x15px Subsidiary Europe, Central America, South America, Middle East and Northern Africa
Škoda 23x15px Subsidiary Europe, Asia, Central America (including Dominican Republic), South America, Northern and western Africa, Australia, New Zealand
Volkswagen 23x15px Division Global
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles 23x15px Subsidiary Europe, Central America, South America, Australia, China
VTB 23x15px Business Unit Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa
4. Hyundai Motor Group (Template:Country data South Korea)
Hyundai Template:Country data KOR Division Global
Kia Template:Country data KOR Subsidiary Global, except Japan
5. Ford Motor Company (23x15px United States)
Ford 23x15px Division Global
Lincoln 23x15px Business Unit United States, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Japan, South Korea, China
Troller 23x15px Subsidiary South America, Africa
6. Nissan (Template:Country data Japan)
Datsun Template:Country data JPN Division Indonesia, India, Russia, South Africa
Infiniti Template:Country data JPN Subsidiary Global, except Japan, Korea, South America and Africa
Nissan Template:Country data JPN Division Global
Venucia 23x15px Business Unit China
7. FCA Group
Abarth 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Alfa Romeo 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Iran, China, Taiwan and the Philippines
Chrysler 23x15px Division Global, except Europe (excluding UK and Ireland), Africa (excluding South Africa and Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia (excluding the Philippines)
Dodge 23x15px Division Global, except Europe, Africa (excluding South Africa and Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia (excluding the Philippines)
Ferrari 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Fiat 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia and Canada
Fiat Professional 23x15px Business Unit Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia, United States, Canada
Jeep 23x15px Division Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa and Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia (excluding the Philippines)
Lancia 23x15px Division Europe (excluding UK and Ireland)
Maserati 23x15px Subsidiary Global
Ram 23x15px Division United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Middle East, Peru
SRT 23x15px Business Unit Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa and Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia
Tofaş 23x15px Joint Venture Europe
8. Honda Motor Company (Template:Country data Japan)
Acura Template:Country data JPN Division United States, Canada, Mexico, China
Everus 23x15px Business Unit China
Honda Template:Country data JPN Division Global
9. Suzuki Motor Corporation (Template:Country data Japan)
Suzuki Template:Country data JPN Division Global, except USA, Canada North Korea and South Korea
Maruti Suzuki Template:Country data IND Subsidiary India, Middle East, South America
10. PSA Peugeot Citroën S.A. (23x15px France)
Citroën 23x15px Subsidiary Europe, Central and South America, Northern and Western Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Asia (except India, Pakistan and Bangladesh)
Peugeot 23x15px Subsidiary Global, except USA, Canada, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

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. and 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. ^ Developed countries having slowing automotive industry
  9. ^ Younger generations shifting to other modes of transport
  10. ^ Paul A. Eisenstein Building BRIC's: 4 Markets Could Soon Dominate the Auto World at
  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. ^ Trends in the automotive industry
  14. ^
  15. ^ U.S. DOT Table 1-23: World Motor Vehicle Production, Selected Countries
  16. ^ World motor vehicle production
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Harvard University Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity
  34. ^ a b "World Motor Vehicle Production: World Ranking of Manufacturers Year 2013" (PDF). OICA. Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  35. ^ "Definitions" (PDF). OICA. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  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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