Global Industry Overview: Motor Vehicles

One of the largest sectors of the global economy, the automobile industry manufactures passenger cars, trucks, commercial cars, and buses. Included in this discussion are firms that build chassis and passenger car bodies. Some industry companies also manufacture motor vehicle parts (see Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories).

Industry Snapshot

In the mid-2000s, the worldwide leader in the motor vehicle industry was the United States, followed closely by Japan and Germany. The top six companies in the industry accounted for more than half of global sales, although the rest of the industry's companies were steadily gaining market share on General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Honda. Although the three mature world markets – Japan, North America, and western Europe – continued to account for the majority of global motor vehicle production and sales, nearly all of the industry's future growth was projected to come from emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East, and eastern Europe.