More cars are being manufactured today than at any other time in history. In 2018, manufacturers produced 95 million vehicles worldwide, including 70 million cars and 25 million commercial vehicles. Here is a look at the top six countries in terms of the number of cars manufactured:

Key Takeaways

  • With nearly 100 million vehicles produced in 2018, the world is awash with cars and trucks.
  • China has surpassed the United States as number one producer of cars by volume, many of which are sold domestically.
  • Following China and the U.S., Japan, Germany, India and South Korea round out the top 6.

China

The world’s leading manufacturer of cars is China, as the country’s 2018 production resulted in the completion of 25 million motor vehicles, or about 28% of all cars and trucks produced. Approximately 86% of China’s production went toward making personal passenger cars, while the other 3.4 million vehicles produced were for commercial use. From the 4-month period April 2018 through July 2018, China produced an average of 1.774 million cars and 286,000 commercial vehicles. However, production during each of the past five months has decreased in the number of completed vehicles, which might be attributed to the trade war with the United States. With sales of 5.86 million cars in 2018, SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd. (600104.SS) is the largest manufacturer of vehicles in China.

United States of America

The United States produced only 12 million cars and trucks in 2018, but still it finds itself as the second-largest car manufacturer in the world, with just over 13% market share. Although its production of passenger cars was less than Japan and Germany, the United States produced almost twice as many commercial vehicles as any other country, including over five times as many as Japan and over 24 times as many as Germany. General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) manufactured a majority of the automobiles manufactured in the United States, as it holds a market share of 17.5% of the country’s vehicles. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) both hold 14.5% of the United States automobile manufacturing market.

Japan

Japan produced almost 9.5 million total vehicles in 2018, or 10% of all vehicles made. Japan is responsible for the second highest amount of car exports in the world. Its 2018 exported dollar amount - $86.1 billion – represented 12.8% of all car exports worldwide. Toyota is responsible for approximately 29% of Japan’s automobile manufacturing, while Honda Motor Co. Ltd (NYSE: HMC) is the second-largest manufacturer, holding about 14.4% of the Japanese market, followed by Nissan Motors.

Germany

Germany produced just under 6 million total cars in 2018. This figure represented a 2.1% increase from 2017 production levels. The dollar value of almost one-quarter of all cars manufactured in Germany are exported, as 22.7% of 2018 worldwide exports was attributable to Germany. Volkswagen AG (OTC: VLKAY) is the leading German manufacturer, producing just under 700,000 cars among its many makes including Porsche. Mercedes-Benz is the second-largest manufacturer in Germany, representing approximately 9% of the market share in the country. BMW comes in third, which also owns the Mini and Rolls Royce brands.

India

While not well-known in America or Europe, India makes vehicles for its population of over 1 billion. India produced just over 4.6 million total vehicles in 2018, with 82% of manufactured vehicles being personal cars. India experienced the highest growth rate among the top car manufacturers. In 2018, car production increased 7.3% from what was produced in 2017. The largest manufactured in India is Tata Motors Limited (NYSE: TTM). Around 650,000 cars manufactured in India were exported in 2018.

South Korea

In 2018, South Korea produced around 4.5 million total cars. Of these, 4.1 million were personal passenger cars, while the county produced just over 400,000 commercial vehicles. The country experienced very slight growth in this industry, as its total number of cars produced in 2017 increased just 0.7% from the previous year. The most popular South Korea car manufacturer is Hyundai Motor Co. (005380.KS). South Korea is also one of the highest exporters of manufactured automobiles, as 6.2% of cars manufactured in South Korea leave the country.