Number of cars sold worldwide from 1990 to 2017 (in million units)

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Global car sales in millions
1990 to 1999*39.2
2000 to 2013*53.74
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About This Statistic

This statistic represents the number of cars sold worldwide from 1990 through 2016. Additionally, it presents a forecast for 2017. Some 77.73 million automobiles are expected to be sold by 2017. Global car sales are expected to exceed 100 million units by 2020.

International car sales

Along with a recovering automotive industry in the European Union, increased demand for cars from customers in Asia and North America is forecast to successfully offset declining vehicle sales volumes in Russia and Brazil, and help automobile manufacturers sell over 76.7 million vehicles by the end of 2016, up from less than 70 million units in 2013.

In order to increase worldwide car sales, carmakers are particularly keen on tapping into the growing affluence of Asian markets, where passenger vehicle sales have doubled over the past seven years. Between 1990 and 2015, car sales were on the rise in Malaysia, Indonesia and India; in China, vehicle sales have quadrupled to a staggering 24.6 million vehicles in 2015. Not only is the country Asia’s main producer of automobiles, but it has also emerged as the number one producer of light vehicles.

Leading manufacturers like General Motors or Volkswagen saw rising sales across all Asian markets through 2014, and the Ford Motor Company expects Asia Pacific to contribute around 40 percent of its vehicle sales in four or five years’ time. It is expected that automakers will undertake unprecedented investment programs to grow their businesses not only in China and India, but also in other emerging markets. That said, there will likely be a growth saturation curve in all of these markets.

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