The automotive industry comprises a wide range of companies and organizations involved in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing, and selling of motor vehicles. It is one of the world's largest industries by revenue. The automotive industry does not include industries dedicated to the maintenance of automobiles following delivery to the end-user, such as automobile repair shops and motor fuel filling stations.
The word automotive comes from the Greek autos (self), and Latin motivus (of motion), referring to any form of self-powered vehicle.[clarification needed] This term, as proposed by Elmer Sperry[need quotation to verify] (1860-1930), first came into use with reference to automobiles in 1898.
The automotive industry began in the 1860s with hundreds of manufacturers that pioneered the horseless carriage. For many decades, the United States led the world in total automobile production. In 1929, before the Great Depression, the world had 32,028,500 automobiles in use, and the U.S. automobile industry produced over 90% of them. At that time, the U.S. had one car per 4.87 persons. After 1945, the U.S. produced about 75 percent of world's auto production. In 1980, the U.S. was overtaken by Japan and then became world's leader again in 1994. In 2006, Japan narrowly passed the U.S. in production and held this rank until 2009, when China took the top spot with 13.8 million units. With 19.3 million units manufactured in 2012, China almost doubled the U.S. production of 10.3 million units, while Japan was in third place with 9.9 million units. From 1970 (140 models) over 1998 (260 models) to 2012 (684 models), the number of automobile models in the U.S. has grown exponentially.
Safety is a state that implies to be protected from any risk, danger, damage or cause of injury. In the automotive industry, safety means that users, operators or manufacturers do not face any risk or danger coming from the motor vehicle or its spare parts. Safety for the automobiles themselves, implies that there is no risk of damage.
Safety in the automotive industry is particularly important and therefore highly regulated. Automobiles and other motor vehicles have to comply with a certain number of regulations, whether local or international, in order to be accepted on the market. The standard ISO 26262, is considered as one of the best practice framework for achieving automotive functional safety.
In case of safety issues, danger, product defect or faulty procedure during the manufacturing of the motor vehicle, the maker can request to return either a batch or the entire production run. This procedure is called product recall. Product recalls happen in every industry and can be production-related or stem from the raw material.
Product and operation tests and inspections at different stages of the value chain are made to avoid these product recalls by ensuring end-user security and safety and compliance with the automotive industry requirements. However, the automotive industry is still particularly concerned about product recalls, which cause considerable financial consequences.
In 2007, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road, consuming over 980 billion litres (980,000,000 m3) of gasoline and diesel fuel yearly. The automobile is a primary mode of transportation for many developed economies. The Detroit branch of Boston Consulting Group predicted that, by 2014, one-third of world demand would be in the four BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Meanwhile, in the developed countries, the automotive industry has slowed. It is also expected that this trend will continue, especially as the younger generations of people (in highly urbanized countries) no longer want to own a car anymore, and prefer other modes of transport. Other potentially powerful automotive markets are Iran and Indonesia. Emerging automobile markets already buy more cars than established markets. According to a J.D. Power study, emerging markets accounted for 51 percent of the global light-vehicle sales in 2010. The study, performed in 2010 expected this trend to accelerate. However, more recent reports (2012) confirmed the opposite; namely that the automotive industry was slowing down even in BRIC countries. In the United States, vehicle sales peaked in 2000, at 17.8 million units.
The OICA counts over 50 countries which assemble, manufacture or disseminate automobiles. Of that figure, only 14 countries (boldfaced in the list below) currently possess the capability to design original production automobiles from the ground up.
|Country||Motor vehicle production (units)|
This is a list of the 15 largest manufacturers by production volume in 2017, according to OICA.
|4||General Motors||United States||6,856,880|
|8||Fiat Chrysler Automobiles||Italy / United States||4,600,847|
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It is common for automobile manufacturers to hold stakes in other automobile manufacturers. These ownerships can be explored under the detail for the individual companies.
The table below shows the world's 10 largest motor vehicle manufacturing groups, along with the marques produced by each one. The table is ranked by 2016 production figures from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) for the parent group, and then alphabetically by marque. Joint ventures are not reflected in this table. Production figures of joint ventures are typically included in OICA rankings, which can become a source of controversy.
|Marque||Country of origin||Ownership||Markets|
|1. Toyota (Japan)|
|Daihatsu||Japan||Subsidiary||Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia|
|Hino||Japan||Subsidiary||Southeast Asia, Japan, Americas|
|Lexus||Japan||Business unit||Southeast Asia, China, Japan, South Korea, Middle East, United States, Canada, Mexico (2021), Europe, India, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India|
|Toyota||Japan||Division||Global (except Iran)|
|2. Volkswagen AG (Germany)|
|Audi||Germany||Subsidiary||Global (except Iran)|
|MAN||Germany||Subsidiary||Global (except North America)|
|Porsche||Germany||Subsidiary||Global (except Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba)|
|Scania||Sweden||Subsidiary||Global (except North America)|
|SEAT||Spain||Subsidiary||Europe, China, Singapore, Mexico, Central America, South America (except Chile), Middle East, Northern Africa, New Zealand|
|?koda||Czech Republic||Subsidiary||Europe, Asia (except Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines, Iran, Japan, South Korea, North Korea), Central America, South America, Dominican Republic, Northern Africa, Western Africa, Australia, New Zealand|
|Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles||Germany||Subsidiary||Global|
|VTB||Brazil||Business unit||Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa|
|3. Hyundai (South Korea)|
|Genesis||South Korea||Business unit||South Korea, Australia, Russia, United States, Canada, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates|
|4. General Motors (United States)|
|Buick||United States||Business unit||North America, China, Israel|
|Cadillac||United States||Business unit||North America, Middle East, China, Europe, Japan, South Korea|
|Chevrolet||United States||Business unit||Global (except Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India)|
|GMC||United States||Business unit||North America, Middle East (except Israel)|
|Holden||Australia||Subsidiary||Australia, New Zealand|
|China||Business unit||China, Indonesia|
|GM Uzbekistan||Uzbekistan||Business unit||Central Asia, Russia|
|5. Ford (United States)|
|Lincoln||United States||Business unit||North America, Middle East, Japan, South Korea, China|
|Troller Veículos Especiais||Brazil||Subsidiary||South America, Africa, Australia, Europe|
|6. Nissan (Japan)|
|Datsun||Japan||Division||Indonesia, India, Russia, South Africa, Bolivia|
|Infiniti||Japan||Subsidiary||Global (except South America (excluding Chile), Japan, Indonesia, Africa (excluding South Africa))|
|7. Honda (Japan)|
|Acura||Japan||Division||China, Kuwait, North America, Russia|
|8. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Italy)/(USA)|
|Abarth||Italy||Subsidiary||Global (except Iran)|
|Alfa Romeo||Italy||Subsidiary||Global (except Iran, Taiwan, the Philippines and Brazil)|
|Chrysler||United States||Division||Global (except Europe (excluding United Kingdom, Ireland), Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, Southeast Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore))|
|Dodge||United States||Division||Global (except Europe, Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia, Southeast Asia (excluding Indonesia, the Philippines))|
|Fiat||Italy||Subsidiary||Global (except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, Southeast Asia)|
|Fiat Professional||Italy /United States||Business unit||Global (except Africa (excluding South Africa), Iran, Southeast Asia, United States, Canada)|
|Jeep||United States||Division||Global (except Africa (excluding South Africa, Egypt), South Asia (excluding Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (excluding Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore))|
|Lancia||Italy||Division||Europe (except United Kingdom, Ireland)|
|RAM||United States||Division||North America, Brazil, Middle East, Peru, Australia|
|9. Renault (France)|
|Alpine||France||Subsidiary||Europe, Japan and Australia|
|Dacia||Romania||Subsidiary||Europe, North Africa|
|Lada||Russia||Business unit||Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Egypt|
|Renault||France||Division||Global (except USA, Canada, Pakistan, The Philippines)|
|Renault Samsung Motors||South Korea||Subsidiary||South Korea|
|10. Groupe PSA (France)|
|Citroën||France||Division||Europe, Central and South America, Northern and Western Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, Asia (except USA, Canada, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia)|
|DS||France||Division||Europe and China|
|Peugeot||France||Division||Global (except USA, Canada, India, Pakistan)|
|Opel||Germany||Subsidiary||Europe (except United Kingdom), North Africa, South Africa, Middle East, Singapore, Mongolia, Chile|
|Vauxhall||United Kingdom||Subsidiary||United Kingdom|