The World's Biggest Automobile Companies

Volkswagen, Toyota, and Hyundai are the three leading passenger car manufacturers in the world.

Volkswagen, Toyota, and Hyundai are the three leading passenger car manufacturers in the world. The global auto industry is highly competitive, and it is dominated by companies in Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the US. These companies have been experiencing increased sales in developing economies due to the emerging middle-class in Asia, Africa, and South America.

The Four Biggest Passenger Car Manufacturers In The World


The German company produced 9,766.29 automobile units in 2014. The company began operations on May 28, 1937, as a state-controlled company called Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. It was renamed Volkswagenwerk in the same year or ‘The People's Car Company. The company's plant was destroyed in World War II, and after reconstruction, it was denationalized in 1960. The modern day company includes brands such as Audi, Porsche, Bentley, SEAT, and Lamborghini. The largest markets for the company are China and Europe. Recently, the company has hit the news in an emission scandal where software was used in diesel engines to downplay emission levels.


Toyota produced 8,788.02 units in 2014 to become the second largest global automobile producer. The Japanese company traced its history to 1933 when it became a branch of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. Headed by Kiichiro Toyoda, it became Toyota Motor Company in 1937. Over the years the company has managed to reduce production costs and increase vehicle quality by adopting principles such as Just In Time (JIT) and Lean production systems. The company’s annual revenues exceed $200 billion. Toyota's major markets are Asia (Thailand, India, and Indonesia), Europe (Germany, France, UK, and Italy), and the US.


Hyundai produced 7, 628.78 automobile units in 2014. The company is headquartered in South Korea, and it started its operations as the Hyundai Motor Company in 1967. The company was the brainchild of Chung Ju-Yung. Over the years, the company has slowly transformed into a conglomerate, with numerous subsidiaries and affiliates all over the world. The company has three domestic plants and six international plants in the US, China, Russia, India, the Czech Republic, and Turkey. Hyundai enjoys dominance in Korea and has been in pursuit of a larger global market through branding and innovative products.

General Motors

General Motors produced 6,643.03 units in 2014. The company is headquartered in the state of Michigan in the US, and it was established in 1908 as part of Buick. The company was renamed General Motors Corporation in 1916, and it became the leading car manufacturer in the US by 1929. The company's global dominance has increasingly been challenged by companies from Japan and South Korea, but the company edges out its competitors in the North American market. China and Europe are other key markets for the company. General Motors' brand includes Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet.

Other World's Biggest Automobile Companies

Japan boasts four other large automobile companies, namely Honda (4,478); Nissan (4,279.03); Suzuki (2,543.08), and Mazda (1,261.52). German companies on the list are BMW (2,165.57) and Daimler (1,808.13). Ford Motor Company, headquartered in the US, produced 3,230.84). French companies are Groupe PSA (2,521.83) and Renault (2,398.56). Other companies are the Italian Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (1.904.62) and Chinese SAIC (1,769.84).

Which Are The World's Biggest Automobile Companies?

RankGroupCountryTotal Production In Thousand Units, 2014
1Volkswagen Germany9,766.29
2Toyota Japan8,788.02
3Hyundai South Korea7,628.78
4General Motors United States6,643.03
5Honda Japan4,478.12
6Nissan Japan4,279.03
7Ford United States3,230.84
8Suzuki Japan2,543.08
9Groupe PSA France2,521.83
10Renault France2,398.56
11BMW Germany2,165.57
12Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy1,904.62
13Daimler Germany1,808.13
14SAIC China1,769.84
15Mazda Japan1,261.52

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