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  • This Map Shows Which Countries Rule the Automotive World

This Map Shows Which Countries Rule the Automotive World

The auto export market accounted for over $700 billion in economic activity in 2016, according to new numbers from the WorldsTopExports.com. That’s 2.7% higher than in 2015 and a whopping 7.1% better than in 2012. We wondered what it would look like to visualize such a large amount of economic activity in one map.

We created a color-coded 3-D map, showing you the relative size of auto exports broken down by country. Light and dark blue countries represent small fractions of the overall market, no more than 2.7% of the total. The rose pink and salmon countries rise above the others, capturing 7-21.8% of the entire market. Looking at the data in this way quickly provides several insights.

First off, Germany clearly towers over all the other car manufacturers in the world. Germans are responsible for over $150+ billion in auto exports, which accounts for more than a fifth of the entire world’s exports. Clearly a lot of people are still buying German brands, despite the recent Volkswagen scandal related to vehicle emissions. Some of this activity results from the fact that Europeans buy cars from other European countries—they are exporting within the EU—but that’s still a huge amount of economic activity.

The second biggest auto exporter is no surprise: Japan ($91.9b). Companies like Honda, Toyota and Nissan usually have no trouble appealing to foreign buyers, and as a result the country far outpaces the third place U.S. ($53.8b). This is partly explained by the fact that Japan sits right next to the largest auto market in the world, namely, China. Simply put, it’s a lot easier to sell cars when you make them close to where buyers live.

Here’s a list of the top ten countries, ranked in order of their exports (measured in $ million) and percentage of the worldwide auto market each country controls:

1. Germany - $151.9 Billion (21.8% of market share) 

2. Japan - $91.9 Billion (13.2% of market share) 

3. United States - $53.8 Billion (7.7% of market share) 

4. Canada - $48.8 Billion (7.0% of market share) 

5. United Kingdom - $41.3 Billion (5.9% of market share)

6. South Korea - $37.5 Billion (5.4% of market share)

7. Spain - $35.6 Billion (5.1% of market share) 

8. Mexico - $31.4 Billion (4.5% of market share) 

9. Belgium - $30.3 Billion (4.3% of market share) 

10. Czech Republic - $18.8 Billion (2.75% of market share) 

What’s the overarching conclusion from our map? The data demonstrates how enormous European car exports are. In fact, European countries combined account for more than half of the entire world’s export market ($365b vs. $333b). If you want to quickly understand how auto exports are doing, just ask the Germans and you’ll probably get a good idea.



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