U.S. Automotive Industry - Statistics & Facts

Despite the growing number of bicycles, motorcycles, coaches, trains, planes and even cruise ships in use, the automobile is still the most popular form of passenger travel. Thanks to the car’s popularity, the automotive industry has made a strong comeback from the 2008 financial crisis. In 2017, there were more than 100 million million passenger vehicles traveling on U.S. streets. In that same year, some 14.8 million automobiles were registered in California, the country’s most vehicle populous state.

How many cars are sold in the U.S.? The number of cars sold in the U.S. went down from a staggering 11.4 million units in 1973 to a little over 4.7 million units in 2019, mainly because U.S. consumer demand shifted towards larger vehicles over the course of these three years: U.S. light truck sales increased from about two million units in 1981 to more than 12 million units in 2019.

The Detroit Three, General Motors, Chrysler LLC and Ford, are the key U.S.-based automakers, although Chrysler LLC is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Europe-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles holding. In addition to the aforementioned carmakers, Tesla's market share is on the rise due to the increasing acceptance of electric vehicles. In terms of U.S. light vehicle sales by manufacturer, General Motors was the most important vehicle manufacturer in 2018, followed by Ford and Toyota. About 2.8 million passenger cars were produced in the United States in 2018. Globally, Toyota and VW are ranked as the largest motor vehicle manufacturers.

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Automotive industry in the U.S.

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