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 based in Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the US. The world's largest producers of automobiles are China, the United States, and Japan.
The Four Biggest Passenger Car Manufacturers In The World
Toyota - 10,466,051
Toyota produced over 20 million vehicles in 2017, making it the largest car company in the world. The Japanese company traces 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.
Volkswagen - 10,382,334
This German company produced 10.3 million units in 2017. The company began operations on May 28, 1937, as a state-controlled company called Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. 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.
Hyundai - 7,218,391
Hyundai 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 - 6,856,880
General Motors 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' brands includes Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet.
Car Companies by Units Produced
|Rank||Company||Country of Headquarters||Vehicles Produced|
|3||Hyundai / Kia||South Korea||7,218,391|
|4||General Motors||United States||6,856,880|
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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