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Automotive industry

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Modern assembly line
A video showing new SEAT, 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 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 then 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]


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 autmobiles 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 productionEdit

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 yearEdit


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]
2015 90,086,346 0.4% [33]
2016 94,976,569 4.5% [34]
Car exports by country (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity
Global automobile import and export in 2011

By countryEdit

The OICA counts over 50 countries which assemble, manufacture or disseminate automobiles. Of that figure, only 13, boldfaced in the list below, possess the capability to design automobiles from the ground up.[36]

Top 20 motor vehicle producing countries 2016
Country Motor vehicle production (units)
  United States
  South Korea
  United Kingdom
  Czech Republic

"Production Statistics". OICA. 

By manufacturerEdit

This is a list of the 15 largest manufacturers by production in 2016.[35]

Rank Group Country Vehicles
1 Toyota   Japan 10,213,486
2 Volkswagen Group   Germany 10,126,281
3 Hyundai   South Korea 7,889,538
4 General Motors   United States 7,793,066
5 Ford   United States 6,429,485
6 Nissan   Japan 5,556,241
7 Honda   Japan 4,999,266
8 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles   Italy /   United States 4,681,457
9 Renault   France 3,373,278
10 PSA   France 3,152,787
11 Suzuki   Japan 2,945,295
12 SAIC   China 2,566,793
13 Daimler   Germany 2,526,450
14 BMW   Germany 2,359,756
15 Changan   China 1,715,871

By market segmentEdit

Company relationshipsEdit

Stake holdingEdit

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]

Joint venturesEdit

Top vehicle manufacturing groups by volumeEdit

The table below shows the world's 10 largest motor vehicle manufacturing groups, along with the marques produced by each one. The table is ranked by 2016 production figures from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) 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.[41][42]

Marque Country of origin Ownership Markets
1. Toyota (  Japan)
Daihatsu   Subsidiary Europe, Asia (except South Korea, South Asia (excluding Sri Lanka)), Africa, South America
Hino   Subsidiary South East Asia, Japan, North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean
Lexus   Business Unit South 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
Toyota   Division Global, except Iran
2. Volkswagen AG (  Germany)
Audi   Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Bentley   Subsidiary Global
Bugatti   Subsidiary Global, except Australia
Ducati   Subsidiary Global
Lamborghini   Subsidiary Global
MAN   Subsidiary Global, except North America
Porsche   Subsidiary Global, except Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba
Scania   Subsidiary Global, except North America
SEAT   Subsidiary Europe, China, Singapore, Mexico, Central America, South America, Middle East, Northern Africa
Škoda   Subsidiary Europe, Asia (except Indonesia, The Philippines, Iran, Japan, South Korea, North Korea), Central America, South America, Dominican Republic, Northern Africa, Western Africa, Australia, New Zealand
Volkswagen   Division Global
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles   Subsidiary Global
VTB   Business Unit Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa
3. Hyundai (  South Korea)
Genesis   Business Unit South Korea, Russia, United States, Canada, Middle East
Hyundai   Division Global
Kia   Subsidiary Global, except Japan
4. General Motors (  United States)
Buick   Business Unit North America, China, Israel
Cadillac   Business Unit North America, Middle East, China, Europe, Japan, South Korea
Chevrolet   Business Unit Global, except Australia, New Zealand
GMC   Business Unit North America, Middle East (except Israel)
Holden   Subsidiary Australia, New Zealand
JieFang   Business Unit China
SAIC-GM   Business Unit China
UzDaewoo   Business Unit Central Asia, Russia
5. Ford (  United States)
Ford   Division Global
Lincoln   Business Unit North America, Middle East, Japan, South Korea, China
Troller Veículos Especiais   Subsidiary South America, Africa, Australia, Europe
6. Nissan (  Japan)
Datsun   Division Indonesia, India, Russia, South Africa
Infiniti   Subsidiary Global, except Japan, South America (excluding Chile), Africa (excluding South Africa)
Nissan   Division Global
7. Honda (  Japan)
Acura   Division China, Kuwait, North America, Russia
Honda   Division Global
8. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (  Italy)
Abarth   Subsidiary Global, except Iran
Alfa Romeo   Subsidiary Global, except Iran, China, Taiwan, the Philippines
Chrysler   Division Global, except Europe (excluding United Kingdom, Ireland), Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore)
Dodge   Division Global, except Europe, Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, South East Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines)
Fiat   Subsidiary Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia
Fiat Professional   Business Unit Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia, United States, Canada
Jeep   Division Global, except Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia (excluding India, Sri Lanka), South East Asia (excluding Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore)
Lancia   Division Europe, except United Kingdom, Ireland
Maserati   Subsidiary Global
Ram   Division North America, Brazil, Middle East, Peru
9. Renault (  France)
Dacia   Subsidiary Europe, North Africa
Lada   Subsidiary Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Egypt
Renault   Subsidiary Global
Renault Samsung Motors   Subsidiary South Korea, Chile
10. Groupe PSA (  France)
Citroën   Division Europe, Central and South America, Northern and Western Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Asia (except India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
DS   Division Europe, China
Peugeot   Division Global, except USA, Canada, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh
Opel   Subsidiary Europe

Car makes and parent companiesEdit

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

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

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "automotive industry". Encyclopædia 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. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "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. ^ "2015 Production Statistics". 
  34. ^ "2016 Production Statistics". 
  35. ^ a b OICA: World Motor Vehicle Production
  36. ^ Jared Lynch, Mark Hawthorne (17 October 2015). "Australia's car industry one year from closing its doors". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 27 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  37. ^ "China's Geely to Acquire Stake in Malaysian Carmaker Proton". 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2017-06-28. 
  38. ^ "Nissan to take 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  39. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2017-06-28. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ "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. 
  42. ^ "TTAC Announces World's Top Ten Automakers". The Truth About Cars. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 

External linksEdit