Automotive industry

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 largest 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 word automotive is from the Greek autos (self), and Latin motivus (of motion) to refer to any form of self-powered vehicle. This term, as proposed by Elmer Sperry[2][need quotation to verify] (1860-1930), first came into use with reference to automobiles in 1898.


The automotive industry began in the 1860s 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.[4] 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.[5] From 1970 (140 models) over 1998 (260 models) to 2012 (684 models), the number of automobile models in the U.S. has grown exponentially


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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] Other potentially powerful automotive markets are Iran and Indonesia.[11] 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.[12][13] However, more recent reports (2012) confirmed the opposite; namely that the automotive industry was slowing down even in BRIC countries.[9] 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 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 became the world’s largest producing country in 2009 .

2010s: India overtakes Korea, Canada, Spain and UK to become 5th largest automobile producer.

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

2017: The share of China (29.8%), India (5%), Korea (4.2%), Brazil (2.7%) and Mexico (4.1%) rose to 45.9%, while the share of USA (11.5%), Japan (9.96%), Germany, France (2.28%) and UK (1.79%) fell to 31.3%.

World motor production (1997-2016)

By year


199852,987,000Decrease 2.7%[17]
199956,258,892Increase 6.2%[18]
200058,374,162Increase 3.8%[19]
200156,304,925Decrease 3.5%[20]
200258,994,318Increase 4.8%[21]
200360,663,225Increase 2.8%[22]
200464,496,220Increase 6.3%[23]
200566,482,439Increase 3.1%[24]
200669,222,975Increase 4.1%[25]
200773,266,061Increase 5.8%[26]
200870,520,493Decrease 3.7%[27]
201179,989,155Increase 3.1%[30]
201284,141,209Increase 5.3%[31]
201387,300,115Increase 3.7%[32]
201489,747,430Increase 2.6%[33]
201590,086,346Increase 0.4%[34]
201694,976,569Increase 4.5%[35]

Car exports by country (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity

Global automobile import and export in 2011

By country

The OICA counts over 50 countries which assemble, manufacture or disseminate automobiles. Of that figure, only 13 countries (boldfaced in the list below) currently possess the capability to design original production automobiles from the ground up.[38][39]

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Australia (main page)
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh (main page)
  • Belarus (main page)
  • Belgium
  • Brazil (main page)
  • Bulgaria (main page)
  • Canada (main page)
  • China (main page)
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France (main page)
  • Ghana
  • Germany (main page)
  • Hungary (main page)
  • India (main page)
  • Indonesia (main page)
  • Iran (main page)
  • Italy (main page)
  • Japan (main page)
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya (main page)
  • Malaysia (main page)
  • Mexico (main page)
  • Morocco (main page)
  • Netherlands
  • Pakistan (main page)
  • Philippines
  • Poland (main page)
  • Portugal
  • Romania (main page)
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
Top 20 motor vehicle producing countries (2017)
CountryMotor vehicle production (units)


United States








South Korea














United Kingdom








Czech Republic








“Production Statistics”. OICA.

By manufacturer 

This is a list of the 15 largest manufacturers by production in 2016.[37]

2Volkswagen GroupGermany10,126,281
3HyundaiSouth Korea7,889,538
4General MotorsUnited States7,793,066
5FordUnited States6,429,485
8Fiat Chrysler AutomobilesItaly / United States4,681,457

Stake holding

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]

  • Daimler AG holds a 10.0% stake in KAMAZ.
  • Daimler AG holds an 89.29% stake in Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation.
  • Daimler AG holds a 3.1% in the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
  • Daimler AG holds a 12% stake in Beijing Automotive Group,
  • Daimler AG holds an 85% stake in Master Motors.
  • Dongfeng Motor holds a 12.23% stake and a 19.94% exercisable voting rights in PSA Groupe.
  • FAW Group owns 49% of Haima Automobile.
  • FCA holds a 10% stake in Ferrari.
  • FCA holds a 67% stake in Fiat Automobili Srbija.
  • FCA holds 37.8% of Tofaş with another 37.8% owned by Koç Holding.
  • Fiat Automobili Srbija owns a 54% stake in Zastava Trucks.
  • Fiat Industrial owns a 46% stake in Zastava Trucks.
  • Fujian Motors Group holds a 15% stake in King Long. FMG, Beijing Automotive Group, China Motor, and Daimler has a joint venture called Fujian Benz. FMG, China Motor, and Mitsubishi Motors has a joint venture called Soueast, FMG holds a 50% stake, and both China Motor and Mitsubishi Motors holds an equal 25% stake.
  • Geely Automobile holds a 23% stake in The London Taxi Company.
  • Geely Automobile holds a 49.9% stake in PROTON Holdings and a 51% stake in Lotus Cars.[40]
  • Geely Holding Group holds a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG.
  • Geely Holding Group holds an 8.3% stake and a 15.9% exercisable voting rights in Volvo.
  • General Motors holds a 94% stake in GM Korea and SAIC Group holds a 6% stake.
  • General Motors holds a 20% stake in Industries Mécaniques Maghrébines.
  • Isuzu owns 10% of Industries Mécaniques Maghrébines.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra holds a 70% stake in SsangYong Motor
  • MAN SE holds a 17.01% voting stake in Scania.
  • Marcopolo owns 19% of New Flyer Industries.
  • Mitsubishi Group holds 20% of Mitsubishi Motors.
  • Nissan owns 34% of Mitsubishi Motors and has since October 2016,[41] thus having the right to nominate the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors’ board and a third of its directors.[42]
  • Nissan owns 43% of Nissan Shatai.
  • Porsche Automobil Holding SE has a 50.74% voting stake in Volkswagen Group. The Porsche automotive business is fully owned by the Volkswagen Group.
  • Renault and Nissan Motors have an alliance (Renault-Nissan Alliance) involving two global companies linked by cross-shareholding, with Renault holding 43.4% of Nissan shares, and Nissan holding 15% of (non-voting) Renault shares.
  • Renault-Nissan Alliance holds a 3.1% share in Daimler AG.
  • Renault holds a 25% stake in AvtoVAZ
  • Renault holds an 80.1% stake in Renault Samsung.
  • SAIPA holds a 51% stake in Pars Khodro.
  • Toyota holds a 100% stake in Daihatsu.
  • Toyota holds a 50.1% stake in Hino.
  • Toyota holds a 16.7% stake in Subaru Corporation, parent company of Subaru.
  • Toyota holds a 5.9% stake in Isuzu.
  • Toyota holds a 5.05% stake in Mazda, while Mazda holds 0.25% stake in Toyota.[43]
  • Volkswagen Group holds a 99.55% stake in the Audi Group.
  • Volkswagen Group holds a 37.73% stake in Scania (68.6% voting rights), a 53.7% stake in MAN SE (55.9% voting rights), Volkswagen is integrating Scania, MAN and its own truck division into one division.
  • Paccar has a 19% stake in Tatra.
  • ZAP holds a 51% stake in Zhejiang Jonway.

Joint ventures

  • Beijing Automotive Group has a joint venture with Daimler called Beijing Benz, both companies hold a 50-50% stake. both companies also have a joint venture called Beijing Foton Daimler Automobile.
  • Beijing Automotive Group also has a joint venture with Hyundai called Beijing Hyundai, both companies hold a 50-50% stake.
  • BMW and Brilliance have a joint venture called BMW Brilliance. BMW owns a 50% stake, Brilliance owns a 40.5% stake, and the Shenyang municipal government owns a 9.5% stake.
  • Changan Automobile has a joint venture with Groupe PSA (Changan PSA), both hold a 50-50% stake,
  • Changan Automobile has a joint venture with Suzuki (Changan Suzuki), both hold a 50-50% stake,
  • Changan Automobile has a 50-50% joint venture with Mazda (Changan Mazda).
  • Changan Automobile and Ford have a 50-50% joint venture called Changan Ford.
  • Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors have a joint venture called Jiangxi Jiangling.
  • Chery has a joint venture with Tata Motors called Chery Jaguar Land Rover, both companies hold a 50-50% stake.
  • Chery and Israel Corporation has a joint venture called Qoros, both companies hold a 50-50% stake.
  • Daimler AG and BYD Auto have a joint venture called Denza, both companies hold a 50-50% stake.
  • Dongfeng Motor and Nissan have a 50-50% joint venture called Dongfeng Motor Company.
  • Dongfeng Motor and PSA Group have a 50-50% joint venture called Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen,
  • Dongfeng Motor has a 50-50% joint venture with Honda called Dongfeng Honda,
  • Dongfeng Motor has a joint venture with AB Volvo called Dongfeng Nissan-Diesel,
  • Dongfeng Motor has a 50-50% joint venture with Renault named Dongfeng Renault in Wuhan, which was founded in the end of 2013
  • Ford and Navistar International have a 50-50 joint venture called Blue Diamond Truck.
  • Ford and Sollers JSC have a 50-50 joint venture called Ford Sollers.
  • Ford and Koç Holding have a 50-50 joint venture called Ford Otosan.
  • Ford and Lio Ho Group have a joint venture called Ford Lio Ho, Ford owns 70% and Lio Ho Group owns 30%.
  • FAW Group and General Motors has a 50-50 joint venture called FAW-GM,
  • FAW Group has a 50-50 joint venture with Volkswagen Group called FAW-Volkswagen,
  • FAW Group has a 50-50 joint venture with Toyota called Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor and both companies also have another joint venture called Ranz.
  • General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), both have two joint ventures in Shanghai General Motors and SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile. Both also hold an equal 50% stake in General Motors India Private Limited.
  • General Motors and UzAvtosanoat have a joint venture called GM Uzbekistan, UzAvtosanoat owns 75% and General Motors owns 25%.
  • General Motors, AvtoVAZ, and EBRD have a joint venture called GM-AvtoVAZ, Both GM and AvtoVAZ owns 41.61% and EBRD owns 16.76%.
  • Hyundai Motor Company and Kibar Holding has a joint venture called Hyundai Assan Otomotiv, Hyundai owns 70% and Kibar Holdingowns 30%.
  • Isuzu and Anadolu Group have a 50-50% joint venture called Anadolu Isuzu.
  • Isuzu and General Motors has a 50-50% joint venture called Isuzu Truck South Africa.
  • Isuzu, Sollers JSC, and Imperial Sojitz have a joint venture called Sollers-Isuzu, Sollers JSC owns 66%, Isuzu owns 29%, and Imperial Sojitz owns 5%.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra and Navistar International have a joint venture called Mahindra Trucks and Buses Limited. Mahindra & Mahindraowns 51% and Navistar International owns 49%.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra has a joint venture with Renault called Mahindra Renault, where Mahindra & Mahindra owns 51% and Renault owns 49%.
  • MAN SE and UzAvtosanoat have a joint venture called MAN Auto-Uzbekistan, UzAvtosanoat owns 51% and MAN SE owns 49%.
  • Navistar International and JAC has a joint venture called Anhui Jianghuai Navistar.
  • PSA Groupe and Toyota have a 50-50% joint venture called Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile Czech
  • Sollers JSC is involved in joint ventures with Ford (Ford Sollers) and Mazda to produce cars.
  • Tata Motors also formed a joint venture in India with Fiat and gained access to Fiat’s diesel engine technology.
  • Tata Motors and Marcopolo have a joint venture called Tata Marcopolo, where Tata owns 51% and Marcopolo owns 49%.
  • Volvo Group and Eicher Motors has a 50-50% joint venture called VE Commercial Vehicles.

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.[44][45]

MarqueCountry of originOwnershipMarkets
1. Toyota (Japan)
DaihatsuJapanSubsidiaryEurope, Asia (except South Korea, South Asia (excluding Sri Lanka)), Africa, South America
HinoJapanSubsidiarySouth East Asia, Japan, North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean
LexusJapanBusiness 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
ToyotaJapanDivisionGlobal, except Iran
2. Volkswagen AG (Germany)
AudiGermanySubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran
BentleyUnited KingdomSubsidiaryGlobal
BugattiFranceSubsidiaryGlobal, except Australia
MANGermanySubsidiaryGlobal, except North America
PorscheGermanySubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba
ScaniaSwedenSubsidiaryGlobal, except North America
SEATSpainSubsidiaryEurope, China, Singapore, Mexico, Central America, South America (Excluding Chile), Middle East, Northern Africa
ŠkodaCzech RepublicSubsidiaryEurope, 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 Commercial VehiclesGermanySubsidiaryGlobal
VTBBrazilBusiness UnitBrazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa
3. Hyundai (South Korea)
GenesisSouth KoreaBusiness UnitSouth Korea, Russia, United States, Canada, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
HyundaiSouth KoreaDivisionGlobal
KiaSouth KoreaSubsidiaryGlobal (except Japan)
4. General Motors (United States)
BuickUnited StatesBusiness UnitNorth America, China, Israel
CadillacUnited StatesBusiness UnitNorth America, Middle East, China, Europe, Japan, South Korea
ChevroletUnited StatesBusiness UnitGlobal, (except Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India)
GMCUnited StatesBusiness UnitNorth America, Middle East (except Israel)
HoldenAustraliaSubsidiaryAustralia, New Zealand
JieFangChinaBusiness UnitChina
SAIC-GMChinaBusiness UnitChina
GM UzbekistanUzbekistanBusiness UnitCentral Asia, Russia
5. Ford (United States)
FordUnited StatesDivisionGlobal
LincolnUnited StatesBusiness UnitNorth America, Middle East, Japan, South Korea, China
Troller Veículos EspeciaisBrazilSubsidiarySouth America, Africa, Australia, Europe
6. Nissan (Japan)
DatsunJapanDivisionIndonesia, India, Russia, South Africa, Bolivia
InfinitiJapanSubsidiaryGlobal, except South America (excluding Chile), Africa (excluding South Africa)
7. Honda (Japan)
AcuraJapanDivisionChina, Kuwait, North America, Russia
8. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Italy)/(USA)
AbarthItalySubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran
Alfa RomeoItalySubsidiaryGlobal, except Iran, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Brazil
ChryslerUnited StatesDivisionGlobal, except Europe (excluding United Kingdom, Ireland), Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South AsiaSouth East Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore)
DodgeUnited StatesDivisionGlobal, except EuropeAfrica (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South AsiaSouth East Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines)
FiatItalySubsidiaryGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia
Fiat ProfessionalItaly /United StatesBusiness UnitGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, South East Asia, United States, Canada
JeepUnited StatesDivisionGlobal, except Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia (excluding India, Sri Lanka), South East Asia (excluding Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore)
LanciaItalyDivisionEurope, except United Kingdom, Ireland
RAMUnited StatesDivisionNorth America, Brazil, Middle East, Peru
9. Renault (France)
AlpineFranceDivisionEurope, Japan and Australia
DaciaRomaniaSubsidiaryEurope, North Africa
LadaRussiaBusiness UnitRussia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Egypt
RenaultFranceDivisionGlobal ( except USA and Canada)
Renault Samsung MotorsSouth KoreaSubsidiarySouth Korea
10. Groupe PSA (France)
CitroënFranceDivisionEurope, Central and South America, Northern and Western Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Asia (except India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
DSFranceDivisionEurope, China and Brazil
PeugeotFranceDivisionGlobal, (except USA, Canada, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)
OpelGermanySubsidiaryEurope (except United Kingdom), North Africa, South Africa, Middle East, Singapore, Chile
VauxhallUnited KingdomSubsidiaryUnited Kingdom
  • General Motors India stopped producing vehicles for the Indian market in 2017. It however continues to export vehicles to other markets.


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