In 2018, 70 million cars and 25.1 million commercial vehicles rolled off assembly lines across the world. In total, 95.6 million vehicles were produced worldwide, and although that sounds like a lot, it actually represented a 1.1% drop compared to 2017 production numbers. According to Forbes, an even greater dip in production is likely in 2019 because of several complex factors. The world economy is faltering, big carmakers are pouring cash reserves into emerging technologies, many people are waiting until electric and other alternative cars are more affordable and available, and regulators in markets like Europe are imposing strict new efficiency rules.
Even still, the global auto industry is a $3 trillion behemoth driven by market share leaders like Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, and GM. The modern auto industry spans every corner of the globe, with the top 25 biggest producers scattered across five continents. Some of the cars they sell are household names, others you've never heard of, and some you're not even allowed to buy. Outsourcing manufacturing and assembly continues to make good business sense as profits for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) keep on rising, but it's not only the corporate bosses who benefit from the worldwide expansion of car culture. The industry accounts for 12 million jobs in Europe alone, 5 million in Japan, and more than 8 million in the U.S., according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Using data from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Stacker ranked the top 25 automakers on Earth by the number of passenger and commercial vehicles they produce. Some build homegrown domestic brands both for export and for sale in their own countries. Others assemble cars in plants established by foreign companies. Others manufacture a combination of both cars made by companies from their own countries as well as by brands overseas. All, however, are part of one of the most dominant, most profitable, and most widespread industries in the world. Read on to find out more.