Auto Production Sets New Record, Fleet Surpasses 1 Billion Mark


Michael Renner

Global production of automobiles keeps rising to new heights. London-based IHS Automotive puts passenger-car production in 2013 at 69.6 million, up from 66.7 million in 2012, and projects a figure of 71.7 million for 2014. (See Figure 1.) Adding light trucks (which in some countries, such as the United States, are used for passenger transportation), total light vehicle production rose from 81.5 million in 2012 to 84.7 million in 2013 and is projected to reach 86.8 million in 2014.

IHS Automotive lists 51 countries as manufacturers of light vehicles. But the leading five producers accounted for 60 percent of all light vehicles worldwide. (See Figure 2.) China produced a stunning 20.9 million vehicles in 2013, up from 18.2 million in 2012. The United States (10.9 million), Japan (9 million), Germany (5.6 million), and South Korea (4.5 million) follow at a considerable distance. India (3.7 million), Brazil (3.5 million), Mexico (2.9 million), Thailand, and Canada (2.4 million each) complete the top 10 and contribute another 18 percent of the global total. Seven other countries—Spain, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Indonesia—produced at least 1 million vehicles each.

The world’s fleet of light-duty vehicles now surpasses 1 billion, having grown from 980.7 million in 2012 to 1,017 million in 2013—one light-duty vehicle per seven people. Of that total, the passenger car fleet accounted for 739.8 million vehicles in 2013, up from 713.2 million in 2012.