The number of new cars, trucks, buses, and other motor vehicles sold worldwide is called “global motor vehicle sales.” Global sales of motor vehicles may be affected by how well they use gas, how safe they are, and how much they cost, as well as by new market trends and changes in how customers to act. As a result, businesses, investors, policymakers, and anyone interested in the automotive industry can benefit from knowing how and where cars are sold worldwide.
The global market for the sale of motor vehicles is highly competitive and diverse, with numerous manufacturers producing vehicles for various consumer segments and markets. Among the industry’s leading manufacturers are General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, and Hyundai. In addition, as environmental concerns and government regulations press for greater sustainability and lower emissions, the market is also experiencing increased competition from electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers like Tesla and Nissan. In recent years, global sales of motor vehicles have fluctuated significantly due to the effects of economic recessions, natural disasters, and trade policies on demand and production. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, had a significant impact on the automotive industry, resulting in a significant decline in sales and production disruptions.
Facts about Global Motor Vehicle Sales:
- China is the largest market for the sale of vehicles, accounting for approximately 32.34 percent of global sales.
- More than fifty percent of global vehicle sales place in the Asia-Pacific region. The largest market in the region is China, followed by India, Japan, and South Korea.
- North America and Europe are also important vehicle sales markets. In North America, The USA has the biggest market in North America, while Germany is the biggest market in Europe.
- Passenger cars are the most common type of vehicle sold, followed by commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses.
- The number of electric cars sold increased to 6.6 million in 2021, representing nearly 9% of the global car market and tripling their market share from two years prior.
- Toyota was the top-selling automaker worldwide in 2022, with over 10.5 million vehicles sold. Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia were, respectively, the second and third largest automakers.
- In addition to traditional automakers, new companies like Tesla and Chinese startups like NIO and Xpeng are becoming important players in the global vehicle market.
1. China (26.3 million units)
China is the largest Motor vehicles market in the world, and its sales of motor vehicles have increased significantly in recent decades. China’s motor vehicle sales reached approximately 26.3 million units in 2021, accounting for approximately 32.34 percent of global sales.
Domestic brands such as Geely, BYD, and Great Wall Motors, and international brands such as Volkswagen, Toyota, and General Motors dominate the Chinese automobile market. China’s sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have increased significantly, with the government providing incentives to promote their adoption.
In recent years, the Chinese automobile market has encountered several obstacles, including trade tensions with the United States and a declining economy. However, despite these obstacles, the Chinese motor vehicle market is anticipated to continue to expand in the coming years due to rising disposable income, industrialization, and the rising prevalence of ride-sharing services.
- Car sales: 21.48 million units and Commercial vehicle sales: 4.79 million units.
- In China, both urban and rural areas rely significantly on buses as a primary mode of transportation.
- China is the biggest producer and consumer of commercial vehicles in the world. Trucks are used to transport goods all over the country.
- As of 2021, about 709,400 buses and trolleys were running in China’s cities, which is 0.7% more than the previous year.
- The types of vehicles used in China are as follows:
- Passenger Cars: 61.4%
- Commercial Vehicles: 19.4%
- New Energy Vehicles (NEVs): 7.8%
- Trucks: 6.9%
- Buses: 2.2%
- Special Vehicles: 1.7%
- Trailers: 0.6%
2. Unites States (15.4 million units)
The USA is one of the leading markets for producing and consuming motor vehicles. The sales of automotive vehicles in the United States increased by 3.54% from 14.9 million units in 2020 to 15.4 million units in 2021.
The automobile industry significantly contributes to the U.S. economy, providing employment opportunities and generating substantial revenue. In recent years, vehicle sales have fluctuated. The total number of light vehicles sold in the United States decreased by approximately 15.2% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Global sales of motor vehicles, including the U.S. market, are anticipated to encounter obstacles in the coming years due to shifting consumer preferences, emerging technologies, and fluctuating global economic conditions.
- Car sales: 3.35 million units and Commercial vehicle sales: 12.06 million units
- In the United States, 76% of employees drive their own vehicles between home and work.
- 11 % of the 5,649 respondents use public transportation, while 10 percent bicycles.
- The distribution of registered vehicles in the United States is as follows:
- Passenger Cars – 36.4%
- Light Trucks (including SUVs and pickups) – 63.4%
- Other Vehicles (including motorcycles, buses, and large trucks) – 0.2%
3. Japan(4.45 million units)
Japan was one of the largest markets for automobile sales worldwide. However, sales of motor vehicles in Japan have fluctuated significantly in recent years, with a general downward trend from 2007 to 2021. As a result, Japan’s motor vehicle sales totaled 4.45 million units in 2021, a decrease of approximately 3.27 percent from the previous year. Despite this, the Japanese automobile industry remained robust and resilient, with numerous companies continuing to innovate and adapt to shifting market conditions.
In recent years, electric and hybrid vehicles have become increasingly popular in Japan, with many consumers opting for more eco-friendly options. In Japan, the Toyota Aqua (known as the Prius C in other markets), the Toyota Corolla, and the Honda Fit are among the best-selling vehicles. In addition, Japanese automakers like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have a strong global presence, exporting vehicles to international markets.
- Car sales: 3.67 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 772,642 units
- Passenger cars are Japan’s most frequent type of vehicle, accounting for approximately 66% of all vehicles.
- In Japan, motorcycles and bicycles are particularly popular for commuting. They constitute approximately 15% of all vehicles.
- Trucks, buses, and vans account for approximately 9 percent of all vehicles in Japan.
- Kei cars, a type of tiny vehicle, are widely purchased in Japan due to their low price and high fuel efficiency. Roughly 7% of all cars and trucks are electric.
4. India (3.76 million units)
India is the largest market for vehicles in South Asia. A large population and rising incomes are driving the demand for cars in India. In 2021, 3.76 million cars and trucks were sold in India. However, between 2018 and 2021, the number of cars sold in India dropped by an average of 0.01% per year. Before that, the number of cars sold rose from 1.98 million units in 2008 to 4.4 million in 2018.
In the past few years, the Indian auto industry has grown a lot, with both Indian and foreign companies investing in production facilities and adding more products to their lines. India’s motor vehicle market is expected to grow over the next few years, thanks to more people moving to cities, higher incomes, and more people needing personal transportation. Another trend in the Indian auto market is that shared mobility services like ride-hailing and car-sharing are becoming more popular. Big ride-hailing companies like Uber and Ola have a big presence in India. In addition, car-sharing services are also becoming more popular in cities.
The Indian automotive market faces problems like a lack of infrastructure and unclear government policies. However, it remains a key growth market for motor vehicle sales worldwide, with many opportunities for automakers and other industry players.
- Car sales: 3.08 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 677,119 units
- Over eighty percent of all registered vehicles in India are two-wheelers (motorcycles and scooters), making them the most common form of vehicle.
- Automobiles are also trendy in India, particularly in urban areas.
- Trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles move goods and people. These are commercial vehicles. About 4-5% of all vehicles are registered in India.
- Three-wheeled vehicles (auto-rickshaws) are a popular mode of public transportation in urban areas. They account for roughly 3 percent of all registered vehicles in India.
- Tractors and other farm vehicles are part of the “agricultural vehicles.” Less than 1% of the vehicles are registered in India.
5. Germany (2.97 million units)
Germany is one of the top countries in the automotive industry, with many well-known brands, such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, headquartered there. In 2021, motor vehicle sales for Germany were 2.97 million units, with total sales dropping by around 9% compared to the previous year. Though German motor vehicle sales fluctuated substantially in recent years, they tended to decrease from 2007 – 2021, ending at 2.97 million units in 2021.
Regarding global motor vehicle sales, Germany is a major player, with several leading automakers headquartered there. Volkswagen, for example, is the largest automaker in the world by volume and has several popular brands under its umbrella, such as Audi, Porsche, and Skoda. In addition, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are well-known global brands with a significant market share in the luxury vehicle segment.
Overall, the German automotive industry remains a dominant force in the global motor vehicle market, and its continued success is significant to the country’s economy and reputation as a technological leader.
- Car sales: 2.62 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 351,187 units
- About 66% of Germans use a car as their primary mode of transportation.
- Bicycles are also very popular in Germany, with about 11% of Germans using a bike as their primary mode of transportation.
- About 23% of Germans use public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains, to get around.
- Germany is a major exporter of goods, and so trucks and commercial vehicles play an essential role in the country’s economy.
- About 3% of Germans use motorcycles or scooters as their primary mode of transportation.
6. France (2.14 million units)
The French automobile industry is the second largest in Europe. French automakers such as PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, and Groupe PSA dominated the market in terms of market share, accounting for a significant proportion of vehicle sales in the country.
In 2021, France sold 2.14 million automobiles, up from 2.1 million the previous year; this represents an increase of 2.01%.
The French government has set ambitious goals for the transition to electric vehicles, intending to end gasoline- and diesel-powered automobile sales by 2040. Various measures have been implemented to support this objective, including tax incentives, purchase subsidies, and investments in charging infrastructure. The increasing prevalence of SUVs and crossovers is another trend in the French automobile sales market. These vehicles have grown in popularity in recent years, accounting for a more significant proportion of total vehicle sales. This trend mirrors the global preference for larger, more versatile vehicles among consumers in other markets.
- Car sales: 1.66 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 483,279 units
- About 79.7% of all daily trips in France are made by private car.
- People in France use public transportation 9.9% of the time (including bus, metro, and tram).
- 3,2% of French people ride bikes as their primary way of transportation.
7. Brazil (2.12 million units)
The Brazilian automobile industry is the largest in Latin America. In 2021, automobile sales in Brazil increased from 2.06 million units to 2.12 million units, a change of 2.98 percent. The three leading manufacturers in Brazil in terms of market share are Fiat, Volkswagen, and General Motors, which account for approximately 60% of total sales.
In recent years, brands such as Hyundai, Toyota, and Renault have also gained market share. Brazil has a significant market for heavy commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, automobiles, and light commercial vehicles. The Brazilian government has implemented several policies and regulations to support the growth of the automotive industry, including tax incentives for manufacturers and consumers, standards for fuel efficiency, and environmental regulations.
- Car sales: 1.56 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 561,384 units
- The modes of transport used for travel in Brazil are as follows:
- Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, and pickups): 61%
- Motorcycles: 27%
- Trucks: 6%
- Buses: 3%
- Others (including agricultural and construction vehicles): 3%
- Cars, motorcycles, and bicycles are all types of personal transportation that individuals and families use to get around.
- Public transportation is an important part of everyday life in Brazil. For many people, buses, trains, and subways are their main ways of transportation.
8. United Kingdom (2.04 million units)
Vehicle sales in the United Kingdom contribute significantly to the country’s economy. The Uk is one of the biggest automobile markets in Europe, with significant demand for both new and used automobiles. In 2021, the United Kingdom sold 2.04 million motor vehicles, up from 1.96 million the previous year; this represents an increase of 4.04%.
In 2021, the most popular automobile brands in the United Kingdom were Ford, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz. Regarding fuel types, petrol cars remain the most prevalent in the United Kingdom, with a market share of approximately 61%.
The United Kingdom has several prominent automakers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, and Mini. Concerns have been raised, however, regarding the impact of Brexit on the industry, particularly in terms of supply chain disruptions and prospective tariffs. Moreover, in recent years, the market for automotive vehicles in the United Kingdom has fluctuated due to shifting consumer preferences, economic uncertainty, and regulatory changes. Nevertheless, the U.K. motor vehicle market is an important and dynamic sector of the U.K. economy, emphasizing innovation, sustainability, and international trade.
- Car sales: 1.65 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 396,910 units
- The modes of transport used for travel in the United Kingdom are as follows:
- Car or Van – 60%
- On foot – 22%
- Bus – 8%
- Bicycle – 4%
- Train – 3%
- Other modes (including taxis, motorcycles, and ferries) – 3%
9. Russia (1.74 million units)
Russia is close to Europe and Asia, so it has a big market at home and a lot of potentials to deliver products internationally. In 2021, 1.74 million cars and trucks were sold in the Russian Federation. Even though car sales in the Russian Federation have changed a lot in recent years, they have tended to go down from 2007 to 2021, ending at 1.74 million units in 2021.
All made in Russia, Lada, KIA, and Hyundai were the most popular car brands there. Lada has been Russia’s best-selling car brand for a long time. The Lada Granta and Lada Vesta are especially popular. There is also a big market for bigger cars like SUVs and crossovers. The Hyundai Creta, the KIA Sportage, and the Toyota RAV4 are some of the best-selling cars in Russia. Also, foreign automakers like Renault, Volkswagen, and Toyota still have a big presence in the Russian market.
- Car sales: 1.48 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 258,521 units
- About 70–75% of the vehicles in Russia are used by people for their transportation needs.
- About 20% to 25% of the vehicles in Russia are used for business, like transporting goods or people. This includes buses, trucks, and other vehicles used for business.
- The number of registered vehicles by type of use in Russia is as follows:
- Passenger cars – 82.4%
- Trucks – 6.7%
- Motorcycles and scooters – 4.8%
- Buses – 2.5%
- Special-purpose vehicles – 2.3%
- Trailers – 1.1%
- Other vehicles – 0.2%
10. South Korea (1.73 million units)
South Korea has a well-developed auto industry. Hyundai, Kia, and G.M. Korea are well-known car companies based there. The country also buys many cars and has a big local market.
In 2021, 1.73 million cars and trucks were sold in South Korea. Between 2020 and 2021, car sales in the Republic of Korea dropped by an average of 1.41 percent yearly. However, between 2008 and 2020, sales grew from 1.25 million units to 1.91 million units.
Hyundai and Kia are the two most popular car companies in South Korea. Together, they have about 70% of the market. Big companies like G.M. Korea, Renault, Samsung Motors, and SsangYong Motor also make cars in the country. In addition, South Korea is home to a number of major automakers, such as Mando, Hyundai Mobis, and L.G. Chem. These companies make parts for automakers worldwide and sell them to other automakers in South Korea.
Overall, the market for selling cars in South Korea is strong and competitive, and it will be interesting to see how the business grows in the coming years.
- Car sales: 1.47 million units and Commercial vehicle sales 265,708 units
- The types of vehicles used in South Korea are as follows:
- Passenger cars: 70.5%
- Motorcycles: 12.5%
- Commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, etc.): 10.8%
- Special purpose vehicles (construction machinery, agricultural machinery, etc.): 5.5%
- Others (including bicycles, electric vehicles, etc.): 0.7%
- In South Korea, passenger cars are the most common type of car. People use them for transportation on their own, to get to work, and to travel long distances.
- Buses are a common way for people to get around South Korea. Different kinds of buses, like city buses, intercity buses, and express buses, meet different travel needs.
- In South Korea, taxis are a convenient mode of transportation. Taxis are prevalent in urban areas and can be hailed on the street or reserved via an app.
Here is a list of Global Sales By Country:
|40||United Arab Emirates||188,844|
The global motor vehicle industries are transforming significantly due to technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and global economic conditions. As the industry strives to meet future challenges, a greater emphasis is likely placed on environmentally friendly transportation options, such as electric and hybrid vehicles. In addition, emerging markets are anticipated to play a larger role in the global motor vehicle sales market as many middle-class consumers seek affordable and dependable transportation options. In the long run, the industry’s future is complex and uncertain. Still, innovation and adaptability will be crucial in determining its success in the coming years.