biggest car producer country in the world
The Largest Car Producers in the World

Surprisingly, a few big names rule the car-making world. Numbers from the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA) show that in 2017, the leading 5 carmakers were Toyota, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai/Kia, General Motors, and Ford. These giants have led the industry from 2007 to 2019. However, in 2007, Hyundai/Kia joined the top 5, replacing DaimlerChrysler.1

Rank Country Flag Production (units)
1 China 🇨🇳 27,020,616
2 United States 🇺🇸 10,060,339
3 Japan 🇯🇵 7,835,519
4 India 🇮🇳 5,456,857
5 South Korea 🇰🇷 3,757,049
6 Germany 🇩🇪 3,677,820
7 Mexico 🇲🇽 3,509,072
8 Brazil 🇧🇷 2,369,769
9 Spain 🇪🇸 2,219,462
10 Thailand 🇹🇭 1,883,515
11 Indonesia 🇮🇩 1,470,146
12 France 🇫🇷 1,383,173
13 Türkiye 🇹🇷 1,352,648
14 Canada 🇨🇦 1,228,735
15 Czechia 🇨🇿 1,224,456

Key Takeaways

  • The global automotive industry is dominated by a small group of large-scale manufacturers.
  • Toyota, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai/Kia, General Motors, and Ford have consistently remained the top 5 automakers by production volume from 2007 to 2019.
  • The automotive industry is a crucial part of the global economy, producing vehicles that efficiently transport people and goods.
  • Large-scale automobile production is a significant factor in the industry’s global impact and competitiveness.
  • The top automotive manufacturers are continuously innovating and adapting to meet the evolving demands of consumers and regulatory changes.

Introduction to the World’s Biggest Car Manufacturers

The car industry is key to the world’s economy. It makes vehicles for moving people and goods easily, locally and across regions2. These vehicles include cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Some companies also make bikes, ATVs, plus big trucks and buses.

Overview of the Global Automotive Industry

Annual Car Production by Country (2022)

Source: Image data (2022)

In 2021, the car market hit $2.73 trillion. It’s estimated to grow by 3.01% every year from 2021 to 20312. By then, it should be over $3.57 trillion. Electric car sales are increasing fast. Over 2.3 million were sold in early 2023, a 25% jump from the year before2.

The Significance of Large-Scale Automobile Production

The top earners in 2023’s car market include SAIC and Hyundai, making over $100 billion each. Tesla, from the U.S., hit $94 billion2. Big names like General Motors, Ford, and Toyota are into electric cars. They’re upping their game to match what consumers want and to help the planet2.

Toyota: The Global Automotive Leader

The Best Selling Car Brands in the World
The Best Selling Car Brands in the World

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is among the top automakers worldwide. Its name stands for reliable and efficient cars. Over the past 80 years, it has become a major player in the auto industry. Toyota makes a variety of vehicles to meet different needs.

Toyota’s History and Legacy

Toyota began in 1937, founded by Kiichiro Toyoda. Since then, it has grown a lot. By September 2023, Toyota had made 300 million cars. This includes about 180.52 million in Japan and 119.6 million outside the country.3 The Corolla, Toyota’s top-selling car, has over 53 million units sold by September 2023. This shows its place among the most popular cars in the world.3

Toyota’s Commitment to Innovation and Efficiency

Toyota’s success comes from its history and a focus on new ideas and being efficient. It gets the most patents in the U.S. each year. In 2023, it got 2,667 patents, more than anyone else.4 This shows how Toyota is always working on new technology to stay ahead in the auto world.

Toyota spends a lot on research and development, about $1 million every hour around the world.4 This investment leads to a wide range of cars, like hybrids and tough trucks. They all aim to meet what people need worldwide.

Toyota’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Lineup

Toyota is a big name in making hybrid and electric cars. The Prius is its most known hybrid, showing Toyota’s care for the environment. There are 27 electrified models available now.4 Also, by 2025, Toyota will open a new plant in North Carolina. It will make batteries for electric cars. This shows Toyota’s aim for a greener future.4

Toyota’s strong points are quality, new ideas, and using resources well. It leads the auto market, shaping how we move for years to come.

Volkswagen Group: A Diverse Automotive Powerhouse

Volkswagen (VWAGY) is a big name in cars, based in Germany. It designs and makes cars, trucks, and vans.5 It started in 1937 with a goal to make an affordable car for everyone. Now, it’s a key player in the global car scene.

The heart of the Volkswagen Group beats in Wolfsburg, Germany.5 This is where they work hard to bring new vehicles to life.

Brands Under the Volkswagen Group Umbrella

The Volkswagen Group isn’t just about Volkswagen cars. It also owns Porsche and Audi, which are known for their luxury.5 It also helps customers pay for cars and manage big vehicle fleets.

Back in the 1950s, Volkswagen made iconic vehicles like the Transporter van and the Karmann Ghia coupe.5 Today, they lead the world in having the most car brands under their name.

Volkswagen’s Global Reach and Market Share

In 1955, Volkswagen set foot in the American market. Soon, the Beetle became a favorite.5 Now, the group sells more than 10 million cars around the globe every year.

In 2015, Volkswagen briefly became the world’s top car seller, overtaking Toyota.5 But that year, it also faced a big challenge with the diesel emissions issue. As a result, in 2019, they stopped making the Beetle after many years of success.

In November 2020, Volkswagen Group announced big plans for its digital future.6 They’re set to spend a whole lot more money on digital over the next five years. More than $28 billion will go into this change.

The goal is to make 60% of the software in their cars by themselves. Before, they only made less than 10%. To achieve this, about 200 experts in Seattle will work on cloud computing and software.6 This new way of working, called VW.AC, will manage the data from millions of cars daily. Starting in 2022, their focus is on services like remote control, electric car charging, and software updates through the Automotive Cloud.

The Largest Car Producers in the World

Top Automakers by Production Volume

In 2017, Toyota was the world’s top car maker, followed by the Volkswagen Group, Hyundai/Kia, General Motors, and Ford. This info comes from the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA).1 These companies have been leading since 2007. Hyundai/Kia has since climbed to the 5th spot.

Factors Influencing Automotive Manufacturing Scale

The car industry is all about big investments and technology. This means putting a lot into building cars, researching, and managing how cars are made.1 Car companies need to always change to what people want, new rules, and the latest in car-making to stay ahead and grow.

AutomakerProduction Volume (Vehicles)
General Motors9,628,9121
Volkswagen Group9,379,2291
Hyundai and Kia7,233,0801

The table above shows the leading car makers in 2017. It proves how powerful these car giants are in the world. They make a lot of cars and have very big manufacturing systems.1

General Motors: An American Automotive Titan

General Motors (GM) is a major car maker located in the U.S. It creates and builds cars, trucks, and car parts. It stands out for its work in electric vehicles (EVs), including the popular Chevy Volt and Bolt.7 GM has four main brands: GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick.

General Motors’ Brand Portfolio

The GM brand family is famous worldwide in the car world. Chevrolet brings a wide selection, like the Silverado truck and Suburban SUV. Cadillac focuses on luxury, offering top-notch cars such as the Escalade and CT5 sedan.8 GMC is all about rugged SUVs and trucks with models such as the Sierra and Yukon. Buick adds a mix of luxury, comfort, and tech with vehicles like the Enclave and Encore.

General Motors’ Electric Vehicle Initiatives

General Motors is making major moves into electric vehicles (EVs). It started with the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid, to pave the way.7 The company now shines with the Chevy Bolt, a fully electric car that can go over 250 miles on one charge.8 GM’s future is electric, with plans to roll out even more all-electric models. This shows its big commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.

Hyundai and Kia: The Formidable Korean Duo

Hyundai and Kia are South Korea’s top car makers in the world. They have a big part of the global market.9 Hyundai started in 1967. It was founded by Chung Ju-Yung.10 Kia began in 1944. At first, it made bike parts.10 Now, Hyundai has the biggest car-making hub in Ulsan, South Korea.10 In 1998, Hyundai got a big share in Kia Motors.10

Hyundai makes the Accent, Elantra, and more. They also have electric cars like the Kona.10 Kia’s lineup includes the Optima, Sportage, and others. They also offer electric and hybrid vehicles.10 Hyundai has a great warranty program.10 Kia is known for its safety features.10

Hyundai and Kia cars are sold in over 190 countries. This shows they are global brands.9 Hyundai has been in the top five car makers for a long time. This shows they are very competitive.9 Kia, owned by Hyundai, sees more sales over time. This helps the Korean car companies be strong together.9

Both companies spend a lot on new technologies. They care about the environment and make green vehicles.9 People know Hyundai and Kia cars are reliable. They often win awards for being well-made.9

Their factories are very efficient. They use the best ways to make cars well.9 In big markets like the U.S. and Europe, their sales are good. This shows they can meet the needs of many different people.9 Working together, Hyundai and Kia are strong. They combine their skills to do well in the world market.9

But, Hyundai has had problems with its car values over time. Kia faces an issue where people think they are just cheap. Sometimes, Kia cars don’t get the best reviews. Still, both companies are focused on making cars that are affordable, new, and better for the planet.10

Hyundai and Kia vehicles

Ford: The Iconic American Automaker

Ford is one of the world’s most famous car companies. It has been a leader in American cars for more than 100 years.11 Starting in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan, Ford quickly became a major force worldwide. They make cars and trucks for all kinds of people.11

Ford’s Truck and SUV Lineup

Ford is known for its top-notch trucks and SUVs. They have helped the company do very well.11 Vehicles like the F-150 pickup, the Expedition SUV, and the Escape crossover have made Ford stand out.11 These not only do a lot but show Ford’s promise to make quality, dependable cars for its shoppers.

Ford’s Electrification Strategy

Ford is moving towards making more electric cars. It’s an important step for the whole car industry.11 Their electric cars, like the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, are part of this push.11 Ford aims to use advanced technology and make electric cars more practical and fun to drive. It’s working hard to be a key player in the electric car market.

Ford is a true American car icon. It’s famous for its innovation and quality.11 As the car world changes, Ford stays ready to make cars that really grab attention. These cars will shape how we move in the future.11

Honda: Engineering Excellence from Japan

Honda is known worldwide for its top-notch engineering and creative designs. This Japan-based auto firm started in 1948. Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa formed it, leading the way in car innovations.

Honda’s Commitment to Fuel Efficiency

Honda is all about making cars that save fuel and help the planet. It offers a wide range of cars, including the popular Civic and Accord. The Civic, which hit the roads in 1972, is famous for being small yet efficient and reliable. Its design has won many hearts.12 The Accord, on the other hand, first hit the market in 1976. It’s known for being a great mix of power, comfort, and value. Even after many years, it’s still a top choice for a lot of people.12 Honda is also diving into making electric cars. Models like the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid are part of this move. The Honda e, especially, stands out with its modern design. It’s catching the eye of those who care about the environment and city living.

Honda’s Luxury Brand: Acura

Acura is the luxury arm of Honda, targeting customers with a taste for the finer things. It sells luxury cars like the TLX, RDX, and MDX. These models blend top features with cutting-edge tech and smooth performance for a high-end driving experience.

Tesla: Leading the Electric Vehicle Revolution

Tesla is leading the way in electric cars and clean energy. It’s changing the game in the global car market.13 With its four models, Tesla shows that you don’t have to sacrifice speed for a green lifestyle. These models can drive over 135 miles per hour and go from 0 to 60 in under 4.8 seconds. They can also go more than 320 miles on a single charge.13 Tesla’s vision not only upends traditional car thinking but also steers the car industry toward a eco-friendly tomorrow.

Tesla’s Groundbreaking Electric Vehicles

Tesla’s electric cars are setting new highs for what cars can do. They’re changing how we think about performance, energy use, and the environment.13 Their long-range, high-performance cars are winning hearts and minds. And back in 2006, Tesla introduced the Tesla Roadster, making the first electric sports car. The Tesla Roadster showed the world what electric cars were really capable of, setting a new bar that others are still trying to reach today.

Tesla’s Impact on the Automotive Industry

Tesla is reshaping the whole car scene, not just with its cars but also by influencing others to follow in its green footsteps.14 It made its technology open to everyone, sparking a new chapter in the car world. Now, old car giants and new players are all in a race to make better electric cars.14 Thanks to Tesla, more and more people are choosing electric cars. In the US, Tesla models make up 7% of all cars sold.14 As the world turns more and more electric, Tesla is at the helm, guiding us toward a cleaner future.

Tesla electric vehicles

Stellantis: A Merger of Automotive Giants

The Formation of Stellantis

Stellantis N.V. is now a big deal, born from Peugeot S.A. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ marriage. It all started officially on January 18, 2021, with stock trading in Paris, Milan, and New York under “STLA”.15 The fusion of FCA and Groupe PSA should be all set by early 2021, after their shareholders nod and the regulators are happy.16

Stellantis’ Brand Portfolio and Global Footprint

Stellantis is among the globe’s top car manufacturers, strong in Europe, North America, and South America. Its family includes epic brands like Peugeot, Citroën, and more.15 Altogether, there are 14 brands under its care.17 It plays a big role in making transportation easier and also helps you afford your dream car.

This giant is into crafting and moving cars around the world under different labels. It’s present in many places, making it a familiar face globally.17

They have a well-thought-out plan called “Push to Pass” to be the best at what they do. This merge has some big dreams, like leading the car world in efficiency.15 But, what happens next depends on many things, like COVID-19’s impact, what people want to buy, and the world’s money situation.15

The Future of Automotive Manufacturing

The auto industry is changing fast, with new tech presenting both challenges and chances for growth.18 There are now about one million robots working in car factories around the world. This is a new high. South Korea and Germany are at the forefront of using robots in making cars.18 Automakers like Kia are using the latest tech to improve their processes. Kia, for instance, has a high-tech system for making an all-electric SUV more efficiently.18

Emerging Trends and Technologies

18 Smart manufacturing, known as Industry 4.0, is changing how cars are made. It focuses on using data and technology to predict and prevent issues.18 They’re using AI and machine learning to make factory systems smarter. This can help in identifying problems before they happen, saving time and money.18

19 Soon, owning a car might be less common as more people share rides or use self-driving cars. This change is powered by city living, more people on the planet, and the push to protect the environment. It is vital for the future of how we move around to be smarter, cleaner, and more connected.19

Challenges and Opportunities for Automakers

20 KPMG outlined eight big goals for car companies to adjust to a future full of changes.20 One major shift is toward electric vehicles, as many places are planning to stop selling gas cars. This decision marks a turning point for the industry.20

20 With more demands for electric cars, automakers are rethinking their approaches. Online sales are becoming more popular, changing how we buy cars.20 KPMG proposes a strategy that makes the auto industry better at digital transactions, aiming to meet customer needs better and grow.20

19 Expect to see big changes in the auto sector as companies work together more. Electric cars will be more popular as batteries get better.19 Services like Uber and Lyft are doing well, drawing lots of interest and money. Plus, buying cars is getting more digital, improving the customer experience.19


A few big car makers lead the world’s auto market. They got to the top by making new, exciting cars, working efficiently, and growing worldwide.21 Toyota and Volkswagen have a rich history. Tesla is a new player, changing the game. Recently, Stellantis was formed from a big merger. These top car companies are working hard. They focus on keeping up with what people want and caring for the planet.22

Car companies need to keep up with new trends and tech. They also face many challenges, like new rules, not having enough parts, and more competition.23 They must be smart and quick to make the most out of these changes. This is key for them to keep their lead and keep making the future of getting around.23

This industry shows how strong and smart its leaders are. They love new ideas, care about the earth, and listen to what buyers want. The top car makers are ready for big changes. They will keep leading the way in how we move, showing true innovation and care for our world.2122


What are the top 5 largest automotive manufacturing groups in the world?

The top 5 biggest car makers in 2017 were Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai/Kia, GM, and Ford. They’ve kept their spots from 2007 to 2019. In 2007, Hyundai/Kia moved up to 5th, replacing DaimlerChrysler.

What is the significance of the automotive industry in the global economy?

The car industry is key to the world’s economy. It makes vehicles for moving people and goods across countries. Companies produce cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles.

What are the key features and strengths of Toyota as a leading automaker?

Toyota is known for its reliable and efficient cars. It makes everything from the fuel-saving Prius to tough Tacomas. Toyota is leading in quality and new ideas for getting around.

What are the key features and strengths of Volkswagen as a major automotive group?

Volkswagen is a top car maker from Germany. It makes cars, trucks, and some luxury vehicles like Porsche and Audi. It also does financing and fleet services for customers.

What are the key features and strengths of General Motors as an American automotive titan?

General Motors (GM) leads in the U.S. making cars, trucks, and parts. It’s been big in electric vehicles, starting with the Chevy Volt. GM’s major brands are GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick.

What is the significance of the Hyundai/Kia group in the global automotive industry?

Since 1998, Hyundai and Kia have been part of a big group. They’re always in the top 5 biggest makers by volume. They ranked 3rd/4th in 2017.

What are the key features and strengths of Ford as an iconic American automaker?

Ford is a global car maker based in the U.S. It designs and makes cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks. Known for vehicles like the Mustang, Ford also helps with financing and leasing.

What are the key features and strengths of Honda as a leading Japanese automaker?

Honda, out of Japan, specializes in vehicles, including motorcycles and parts. They make the Civic, Accord, and other trusted models. They also offer financial and insurance help.

What are the key features and strengths of Tesla as a pioneer in electric vehicles?

Tesla focuses on electric cars and renewable energy. They make fast and long-range cars like the Model 3 and Model Y. They also help customers with financing.

What is the significance of Stellantis as a newly formed automotive giant?

Formed in 2021, Stellantis is a big automaker from a merger. It’s strong in Europe, North America, and South America. Brands include Peugeot, Citroën, and more, offering a variety of vehicles.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing the automotive industry?

The car industry is changing fast. It faces problems like new regulations and more competition. Yet, it also has chances with new tech, markets, and what buyers want.

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