Top Countries by Motor Vehicle Production 1950/2020

Since the Second World War, the automotive industry has become increasingly central in the world. In 2020, however, due to the Coronavirus, motor vehicle production has fallen sharply. Compared to the almost 92 million cars, camion e pullman produced in 2019, less than 78 million were produced in 2020. A drop of more than 14 million, taking the figure back to 10 years earlier, in 2010. In today’s article we will look at various data including the nations in the world that produce the most motor vehicle and more. Figures include passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, minibuses, trucks, buses and coaches. Top Countries by Motor Vehicle Production.

Top 15 Countries by Motor Vehicle Production 1950/2020

We have said that global car production has declined in 2020 (more on that below). But which country produced the most motor vehicles in the world in 2020? At the top of the list of Top Countries by Motor Vehicle Production is China. With more than 25 million motor vehicles produced in the last year, the Asian nation tops the list. Far behind, in second place and with almost 11 million motor vehicles produced in 2020, is the United States. In third place is another Asian country: Japan with 9,684,298 motor vehicles in 2020. In fourth place is the leading European country: Germany with 3,742,454. This is followed by other Asian countries such as South Korea, India and so on. Brazil, Russia and Canada are also in the top 15.

And if we move the needle back 70 years to 1950, what was the situation then? In 1950, the United States was by far the world’s leading motor vehicle manufacturing nation. With over 8 million vehicles, the United States was leading the world by more than 100 times over the second largest country, the United Kingdom. In fact, UK production in 1950 was 783,627 motor vehicles. In third place was Canada followed, not far behind, by the Soviet Union where motor vehicle production in 1950 was 362,985. Amongst the top 15 positions Italy can also be noted, with over 125,000 vehicles produced, and Australia with 58,000. It was only at the end of the 1980s that China entered this ranking, reaching the top of the list within 20 years.

World Motor Vehicle Production from 1960 to 2020

The production of motor vehicles has grown continuously decade by decade. From 1960 to 1970, for example, the growth in production was almost 13 million units. From a figure of 16,488,340 in 1960, this rose to 29,419,484 in 1960. The growth was also constant in the following decades with production increasing by about 10 million units per decade.

From 2017 onwards, however, vehicle production figures appear to be on the decline. In fact, while 2017 was a peak year with almost 100 million new motor vehicles produced in a single year, since 2018 we have seen a decline. In 2019 the total number of vehicles produced worldwide was less than 92 million. 5.5 million less than just two years earlier. A figure that then dropped dramatically in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, production in the last year was 77,621,582 vehicles with a value of around 14 million.

Countries by produced vehicles per 1,000 people

What changes if we look at the number of cars produced per population? In this case, the top country in terms of the number of cars produced per 1,000 inhabitants is no longer China, but Slovakia. The figure for cars produced per 1000 inhabitants is 200.18. This is down on the 2019 figure of 202.02, but still higher than all other countries. In the top positions we also find the Czech Republic with 135.77, Slovenia with 101.15, followed by other nations with a value below 100. In the top 10 we find the United States with a figure of 34.44 and Japan and Germany in fifth and sixth position respectively.

China, which is the world’s leading country in terms of the number of cars produced, falls to 17th place in this respect. For every 1,000 inhabitants, 19.95 cars are produced in China. This is similar to Sweden and lower than Turkey. Obviously, this figure is influenced by the population of the Chinese state, which is the largest in the world.

Countries by vehicles per capita

In the course of this article we have seen which are the world’s leading nations in terms of the number of motor vehicles produced. The data were analysed both “absolutely” and in relation to population. But how many cars are there per 1000 people per country? And which countries have the highest number of vehicles per 1000 inhabitants?

The top countries in the world in terms of the number of vehicles owned per 1000 inhabitants are San Marino (latest available data from 2013) and Monaco. San Marino has 1263 cars per 1,000 inhabitants and Monaco 899 per 1,000. Among the world’s leading nations in terms of the number of vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants is once again the United States. In 2020, there were 816 cars per 1,000 inhabitants. This is followed by Australia, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Canada and others. So it is not only states with a small number of inhabitants that are at the top of the list, but also large countries. China is not in the top 50 in this category. It has 207 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants (as of 2021). This puts it in 69th place worldwide.

Sources and useful links

I used several sources for this article. These certainly include the OICA report and household data.

To watch: Top 15 Countries by Motor Vehicle Production 1950/2020: https://youtu.be/XszgHzxjZjs

To read: Top 15 Countries where People Work the Most Hours – 1870/2017: https://statisticsanddata.org/data/top-15-countries-where-people-work-the-most-hours-1870-2017/

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