Trends in World Motor Vehicle Production

Overall growth in the production of motor vehicles, especially since the end of World War II, has been quite dramatic, rising from about 5 million motor vehicles per year to over 60 million. As shown in Fig. 6.1, between 1970 and 2005, approximately 1 million more vehicles have been produced each year compared to the year before with almost 66 million vehicles produced in 2005 [1]. Data regarding motorcycle production is less precise but one major producer [2] estimates that global production exceeded 30 million units in 2003 and is increasing by approximately one million units each year.

Nowhere has the growth been greater than in China which was an insignificant motor vehicle producer two decades ago but is now estimated to be the largest producer of cars, trucks, and buses in the world and is rapidly becoming the major market as well. It is also far and away the largest producer and user of motorcycles.

Fig. 6.1 Annual production of cars, trucks, and buses

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