When it comes to car companies by the country, China is at the top of the list and will likely stay there. Labor costs are low here, and production is high. The country produced over 26 million units of cars in 2019, which comprised approximately 28 percent of the world’s total vehicle production.
It is estimated that 4.3 million of these vehicles were commercial vehicles, while the remaining 83 percent of the vehicles were passenger cars. The largest car manufacturer in China is the SAIC Motor Corporation.
In the same year that China ranked at the top for this metric, the United States manufactured approximately 11 million vehicles. This was less than half of what China produced, but the United States also has different regulatory bodies for the automotive industry and also for the labor market as a whole.
Most manufacturing plants, if not all of the big ones in the United States, are unionized. The same does apply to China, but the labor costs are still significantly lower, and China has a larger labor pool to draw from. From a market share standpoint, General Motors fared better than Ford Motor Company and made the most cars in the United States in 2019. Ford Motor Company came in second place, with Toyota Motor Company taking third.
Japan is one of the top countries on every list of top car companies by the country because it also has a stronghold in the global market for units produced. Japan does not lag far behind the United States in units produced, with over 9.7 million vehicles produced in 2019 compared to the 11 million in the United States.
Of those, approximately 1.4 million were for the commercial market, and 4.7 million left the country as exports. By 2020, the production of vehicles in Japan had dropped to almost half as many as in 2019 due to the pandemic and the market uncertainty that caused for Japan.
Everyone thinks of China, the U.S., and Japan when it comes to cars, and it is easy to forget Germany. That is unless you own a Porsche, Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. In total, Germany produced 4.7 million vehicles in 2019, a number that dropped to two million passenger vehicles in the first three quarters of 2020. This was caused by the pandemic that resulted in temporary plant shutdowns and labor shortages.
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China has the most car companies of all the countries in the world. It produces roughly 28% of the world's vehicles every year.