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Countries that produce the most cars

  • Countries that produce the most cars

    In 2018, 70 million cars and 25.1 million commercial vehicles rolled off assembly lines across the world. In total, 95.6 million vehicles were produced worldwide, and although that sounds like a lot, it actually represented a 1.1% drop compared to 2017 production numbers. According to Forbes, an even greater dip in production is likely in 2019 because of several complex factors. The world economy is faltering, big carmakers are pouring cash reserves into emerging technologies, many people are waiting until electric and other alternative cars are more affordable and available, and regulators in markets like Europe are imposing strict new efficiency rules.

    Even still, the global auto industry is a $3 trillion behemoth driven by market share leaders like Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, and GM. The modern auto industry spans every corner of the globe, with the top 25 biggest producers scattered across five continents. Some of the cars they sell are household names, others you've never heard of, and some you're not even allowed to buy. Outsourcing manufacturing and assembly continues to make good business sense as profits for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) keep on rising, but it's not only the corporate bosses who benefit from the worldwide expansion of car culture. The industry accounts for 12 million jobs in Europe alone, 5 million in Japan, and more than 8 million in the U.S., according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

    Using data from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Stacker ranked the top 25 automakers on Earth by the number of passenger and commercial vehicles they produce. Some build homegrown domestic brands both for export and for sale in their own countries. Others assemble cars in plants established by foreign companies. Others manufacture a combination of both cars made by companies from their own countries as well as by brands overseas. All, however, are part of one of the most dominant, most profitable, and most widespread industries in the world. Read on to find out more.

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  • #25. Argentina

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 208,573 (0.3% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 258,076 (1%)
    - Total: 466,649 (0.5%)
    - Change from 2017: -1.4%

    Argentina has a long history of auto manufacturing, mostly of vehicles designed in other countries like Volkswagen, Ford, and Fiat. Although Argentina still squeaks out a spot on the list of the world's biggest auto producers, its days as a top automaker may be numbered. A lingering recession and a shrinking economy have created a constriction in the country's auto industry that led to a 32% decrease in production during 2018 alone.

  • #24. Romania

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 476,769 (0.7% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 0 (0.0%)
    - Total: 476,769 (0.5%)
    - Change from 2017: 31.1%

    Auto production is a major industry in the Romanian economy, and this industry is booming. Ford tripled production in 2018 at a major plant in Romania, whose main domestic brands are Ford Romania and Dacia. The country also boasts more than 400 parts manufacturers. In total, the auto industry there grew by 20% in 2018 alone.

  • #23. Malaysia

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 522,000 (0.7% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 42,800 (0.2%)
    - Total: 564,800 (0.6%)
    - Change from 2017: 12.2%

    In 2018, Malaysia's booming auto industry contributed 4.2% to the country's GDP, thanks to the creation of nearly 65,000 jobs and a parts and components exports business that generated $2.94 billion that year alone. Homegrown companies like Proton and Inokom operate productions plants there, as do foreign brands like Volvo, Go, and Honda.

  • #22. South Africa

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 321,097 (0.5% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 289,757 (1.2%)
    - Total: 610,854 (0.6%)
    - Change from 2017: 3.5%

    Although South Africa's auto export market is doing well, there are storm clouds on the horizon for Africa's most significant car-producing country. The country's car manufacturing industry, which serves global customers like Honda, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and BMW, is currently grappling with complications like political turmoil, labor issues, and a struggling economy.

  • #21. Poland

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 451,600 (0.6% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 208,046 (0.8%)
    - Total: 659,646 (0.7%)
    - Change from 2017: -4.4%

    Poland doesn't have a car brand of its own, but the country is a major player in the European Union as a supplier of engines, car parts, and cars. Kongsberg, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo all have operations there.

  • #20. Italy

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 670,932 (1% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 389,136 (1.5%)
    - Total: 1.1 million (1.1%)
    - Change from 2017: -7.2%

    Ferrari. Maserati. Alfa Romeo. Lamborghini. The names of Italy's premier automakers reverberate throughout the world. Italy is the #4 largest market for cars in Europe, behind only Germany, the U.K., and France. Despite Italy's long, proud, and storied history as an automobile mecca, more than 70% of the cars there are foreign imports.

  • #19. Slovakia

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 1.1 million (1.5% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 0 (0.0%)
    - Total: 1.1 million (1.1%)
    - Change from 2017: 5.6%

    Slovakia broke a national record for the second year in a row in 2018 when the country's automotive industry racked up another seven-figure production year. The country, which is near the top in the world in terms of cars produced per 1,000 people, relies heavily on contracts from Kia Motors Slovakia, Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen Slovakia, and PSA Group Slovakia.

  • #18. Iran

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 1 million (1.5% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 68,213 (0.3%)
    - Total: 1.1 million (1.1%)
    - Change from 2017: -40%

    The two main players in Iran's auto industry, Iran Khodro and Saipa, manufacture well-known global brands like Hyundai, but also produce models of their own. Iran has been a heavy hitter on the global market, but the auto industry there is in major trouble. The cause of that trouble is stiff sanctions—removed by President Barack Obama, but reinstated by President Donald Trump—that forbid the import of Iranian cars to the U.S. while scaring off potential investors.

  • #17. Indonesia

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 1.1 million (1.5% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 287,940 (1.1%)
    - Total: 1.3 million (1.4%)
    - Change from 2017: 10.3%

    One of the biggest auto producers in Southeast Asia, Indonesia manufactures brands like BMW, Volvo, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and GM. Indonesia's industry minister recently announced that the country had secured $900 million in foreign investment for the country's auto industry.

  • #16. Czech Republic

    2018 production:
    - Passenger cars: 1.3 million (1.9% of world production)
    - Commercial vehicles: 0 (0.0%)
    - Total: 1.3 million (1.4%)
    - Change from 2017: 3.0%

    About 85% of the cars manufactured in the Czech Republic are exported, mostly to markets in Europe. Tatra and Škoda Auto are two major domestic brands, and the country also manufactures better-known international brands like Hyundai.