Auto Giants – Which Countries Produce the Most Cars?

Most of us could probably name a dozen or so famous car brands and identify where they’re from. Three countries appear to dominate the auto giants brand universe — the US, Japan, and Germany. These three countries take up every spot in BrandZ top 10 most valuable car brands in 2018. But when it comes to manufacturing these machines, is it also these three countries that top the charts? Here we find out by using data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA) and the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA).

auto giants

The world’s top vehicle producer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is China, which in 2017 manufactured a staggering 29,015,434 vehicles, more than 23 million of which were passenger cars. Taken as a group, the European Union is China’s closest rival, producing 16.9 million passenger cars in 2017, a modest 0.2% increase on the previous year. Within the EU, Germany dominates the table with around 5.7 million cars, followed by Spain (2.3 million), France (1.6 million) and the UK (1.6 million). The US and Japan were sitting pretty as individual countries in the global number 2 and 3 positions respectively, but Japan just edged out the US in passenger car production by just under 200,000 units. This could largely be attributed to an overall decline in US output of around 11.5% between 2016 and 2017.


Outside of these, the top global car producers are:

India – 3.8 million cars, 4.7 million total vehicles

South Korea – 3.7 million cars, 4.1 million total vehicles

Mexico – 2.9 million cars, 4 million total vehicles

Brazil – 2.2 million cars, 2.7 million total vehicles

Canada – 2.1 million cars, 2.2 million total vehicles

Iran – 1.4 million cars, 1.5 million total vehicles

So, while the big three auto giants brand countries dominate the marketplace, they are not the only players in the manufacturing game. Besides the US decrease in output, countries like Mexico and Brazil demonstrated strong growth in their sectors, 16.9 and 27.1 percent respectively. Perhaps in the long term, this indicates a shift in the manufacturing winds.

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