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Leading Passenger Vehicle Manufacturing Countries (2000-2017)

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

In the last 2 decades, PV Manufacturing Countries have witnessed major upheaval. With the rapid economic growth of the world’s most populous Asian Economies, the world is different now. Below is a comparison of the year 2000 with 2017.

Data Source: OICA

OICA Vehicle Type Definition

  1. Passenger Vehicles are motor vehicles with at least four wheels, used for the transport of passengers, and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat.

  2. Commercial Vehicles include light commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, coaches and buses.

  3. With above classification, let us put the USA production numbers in perspective. Americans love pick-up, popularly called truck in the USA. They happen to be bestselling vehicles in the USA (like Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge RAM), however, they are classified as light commercial vehicle (CV) and thus not reflecting in these figures. When it comes to CV, list is little different with the USA standing at pole position just like China in PV. Also, Mexico and Canada, leading exporter of CV to the USA, ranks #3 & #4 respectively. Thailand too is in the same league.

PV Production Market Share – Major Gainers & Losers

  1. Till 2000 India was closely matched to China’s production numbers but after that China has witnessed exponential growth compare to India’s modest figures, which today made China the biggest, way ahead of any other country of the world.

  2. The USA and France has seen negative growth in the period under consideration, and Japan and Germany has seen almost flat growth in growing global market.

  3. Demand form emerging nations has grown and since these countries are having tariff (import duty) and non-tariff entry barrier (ownership through JV, local content requirement etc) in place, has ensured, automakers across globe to start local manufacturing.

Continent-wise PV Production Market Share

Subprime Crisis of USA (2007) followed by Sovereign Debt Crisis of Europe (2010), were the inflection point which dramatically shifted the base of production to Asia.

Crisis made Detroit giants to lose their Global #1 and # 2 ranks and prized assets of Europe were later acquired by Asian companies. In the hindsight, some of those who rushed for podium position to gain most from the misfortune of the American automobile giants were later mired in controversies themselves, like, Toyota (Takata-Airbags-Recall), Volkswagen (Diesel-Emission-Scandal), Nissan (Vehicle-Inspection-Scandal).


  1. Fast growing markets of underdeveloped Asian countries of yesteryears have become new production hub; notable countries are China, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Iran.

  2. Japan and South Korea are still very competitive and leading exporter.


  1. Production base is slowly shifting to low-wage East European Nation.

  2. Germany and Spain are still very competitive and leading exporter.

North America

  1. North Americas low wage story is similar to East Europe, where production is being shifted to Mexico.

  2. NAFTA is under re-negotiation, driven by President Donald Trump, may soon alter these numbers, in future.

Global PV Production Market Share

Global PV Production Ranking


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