China spearheads revival in global vehicle production

March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011


Total Vehicle Production (including Passenger Cars/Light Trucks)


World vehicle production expanded by a healthy 25.9% in 2010 to reach a total of 77.881 million units, according to early estimates issued by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Passenger cars account for around 82% of global vehicle output with commercial light vehicles and heavy trucks accounting for the remainder.

The global PM industry relies heavily (up to 90% in some countries) on supplying PM components to the automotive sector, so the rise in vehicle production in 2010 should also provide a good foundation for production growth in the PM industry.


China continues to set the pace with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) reporting a 32.4% surge in total vehicle production to 18.264 million units in 2010. Production of passenger cars accounted for 13.897 million units in 2010 – up 33.8% on the previous 12 month period. China is now the world’s largest vehicle producer and has also climbed above Japan to become number two in the world in terms of GDP, behind the USA.


Japan’s production of motor vehicles in 2010 by type

Japan, the world’s second biggest vehicle producing country, also put in an impressive 21% in growth in 2010 thanks to buoyant export markets. Total vehicle output increased to 9.626 million units, of which passenger cars accounted for 8.307 million. The export portion of Japanese vehicles increased by 33.8% to 4.838 million, or around 50% of total production.

South Korea also reported healthy increases in vehicle production in 2010. Total vehicle output increased by 21.6% to 4.272 million with passenger cars accounting for 3.816 million. Like Japan, South Korea relies heavily on export markets with some 65% of all vehicles produced destined for export markets.

North America (NAFTA)


North American (NAFTA) vehicle production 2010

Light trucks continued to outpace passenger cars in terms of vehicle production in 2010. Combined vehicle production in the USA, Canada and Mexico totalled 12.148 million in 2010 – an increase of 38.7% compared with the previous year.

USA light vehicles production (including cars) soared by 36.1% to 7.592 million whilst Canada showed a higher growth rate of 39.4% to reach 2.062 million, and Mexico reported a 49.9% increase to reach 2.251 million units.

South America

South America as whole saw an 18% increase in vehicle production to 4.361 million units with Brazil taking the lion’s share at 3.644 million.



European production of motor vehicles in 2010 by

type (courtesy ACEA)

According to estimates issued by the German VDA, total vehicle production in Europe increased by 16.7% to 19.855 million units. Passenger cars accounted for around 88% of this total. In the EU-25 Germany remains the region’s biggest car producer and recorded gains in production of nearly 12% to reach 5.552 million in 2010.

France, Spain and the UK also recorded gains, whereas Italy recorded a slight decline on total vehicle output of 0.6% to reach 838,169 units.

The most impressive growth in Europe has come in Russia, which according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has seen car production jump by 92.6% in 2010 to 1.15 million units. Light commercial vehicles increased by 58% to 105,000 units in 2010. According to the Boston Consulting Group demand for cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia is forecast to grow at an annual rate of between 8-14% reaching 3 million units by 2013, with the bulk of demand met by increased domestic production. Russia is also forecast to overtake Germany as the largest single market in Europe for passenger cars and light vehicles by 2018.


The momentum created by increased car production appears to have continued in most regions into the early part of 2011. The BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China) continue to be especially dynamic automotive markets, Russia saw a hefty 72% increase in demand for cars in January 2011, and North American vehicle production increased by 15.4% in January to reach 1.23 million units. Only Japan, where domestic sales are off by 19% and Europe, where sales are flat at 1.072 million, show negative trends.

News | Articles | Market reviews | Search directory | Subscribe to e-newsletter

Published on

News, articles and a fully searchable directory for the powder metallurgy industry

March 2, 2011

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • From powder modification to rejuvenation: Fluidised Bed Reactors in metal powder production and Additive Manufacturing
  • Retech: Enabling the atomisation of reactive and refractory alloys at substantially higher levels of productivity and lower cost
  • Sustainability in Powder Metallurgy: Highlights from the 41st Hagen Symposium
  • Innovations from Japan’s Powder Metallurgy industry: award winners highlight novel automotive and healthcare applications

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link