Source: International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers,
Global Production per Car Manufacturer, 1998-2009
The automotive industry is the main industrial employer in the world with more than 10 million workers and incomes of 1,000 billion US dollars. It produced 48 million vehicles in 1990, 50 millions in 1996, 65 millions in 2005 and 60 millions in 2009. The North American and Western European markets are saturated and have mainly become replacement markets. Economic growth in developing countries, especially in Asia, provides some expectations for a demand for new vehicles as well as for new production capacities. However, production capacities grew more quickly than the demand and some factories are now functioning well below their optimal capacity. It is estimated that at 80% of the capacity, an automotive constructor is profitable.
By 2000 the global production capacity reached 80 millions vehicles while the market had a demand for only 60 million vehicles. The automotive production system thus worked at 75% of its capacity, which represents a major challenge for the four main manufacturers (General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota) that controlled 48% of the global production in 1996, 44% in 2003 and 45% in 2009. The car manufacturers themselves are changing because of a massive process of mergers and acquisitions. For instance, by 1999 several manufacturers merged such as GM and Fiat, Daimler and Chrysler (merger was broken in 2009) and Renault and Nissan. As a result, 6 manufacturers controlled about 75% of the global car production.