Automobile IndustryInternationalization > Market shares automobile manufacturers

The ranking of the 10 largest automobile manufacturers 2000 - 2017

Internationalization favors automakers with worldwide market shares from 5% to under 10%

July 4th, 2019 - Two thirds of all worldwide produced automobiles (66.8%) rolled from the assembly belts of the ten largest car manufacturers in 2017.


Seventeen years ago, when internationalization of automobile production had started, this share stood clearly higher at 72.1%. Considered that in 2000 Daimler Chrysler still counted to the ten largest automakers with a market share of 8%, the market share of the worldwide ten largest was even 76%.

So the largest manufacturers could not maintain or even raise their market shares. At the same time the ranking of the world market leaders has significantly changed as the table shows.

The market shares of the 10 largest automakers from 2000 to 2017.

The changes of the position of the ten manufacturers can directly be read from their ranking.


The most spectacular change: Hyundai from South Korea didn't belong to the worldwide largest automakers in 2000. Seventeen years later Hyundai has become the worldwide third largest automaker ranking before the former top dogs GM and Ford.


To make the relations of size and power more visible among the ten largest companies, we form three groups. 


Manufacturers with a market share of 10% and more, those with a market share from 5% to under 10% and finally the group of automakers with a market share of fewer than 5%.


Within seventeen years the ranking of these three groups of market shares has significantly shifted. This becomes apparent in particular by considering the numbers of the world market leaders and the numbers of their produced automobiles in comparison to the years 2000 and 2017.

Numbers and pieces of the worldwide largest automakers from 2000 and 2017.

Internationalization has not favored the largest world market leaders

The number of world market leaders with market shares of 10% and more became reduced from three to two firms between 2000 and 2017. During this time their automobile production decreased by 3%, while global automobile production rose by 66%.

So the position of the largest firms among the world market leaders has become worse in the process of internationalization. This is also true for the entire group of the ten largest automakers since their automobile production rose with 46% more slowly than that of the global auto production with 66%.

The market share of the group with market shares of 10% and more dropped from 37% (2000) to 21% (2017), i.e. by 16 percentage points.


Toyota has always remained in this group, VOLKSWAGEN climbed up to it, while GM and Ford were relegated from it.

The worldwide largest automakers group with 5% market share to below 10% benefits the most from internationalization

In 2000 only two companies belonged to the group of automakers with market share of 5% to below 10%, namely VOLKSWAGEN and Daimler Chrysler with market shares of 8.7% resp. 8.0%. Seventeen years later this group comprises half of the ten largest automakers. These are the manufacturers Hyundai, GM, Ford, Nissan and Honda. Daimler was already relegated from the group of the ten largest automakers.

Manufacturers with market shares of 5% to below 10% more than doubled their automobile production by 222% in seventeen years.

The market share of this group rose from 17% (2000) to 32% (2017), i.e. by 15 percentage points.

It is obvious that the group of world market leaders with market shares of 5% to below 10% coped best with internationalization of the growing automobile production.

Internationalization halves market shares of the largest automakers with market shares of below 5%

The group with market shares below 5% nearly halved from five to three companies, its car production fell by 6% while world car production increased. All three companies in this group, Fiat, Renault and PSA, were already members of this group in 2000. Hyundai catapulted itself into the top position within the group with 5% and below 10% market shares, as Nissan and Honda rose into this group.

The market shares of this group of world market leaders with a market share of less than 5% nearly halved from 23% (2000) to 13% (2017), i.e. by 10 percentage points.

China is the driving force of these shifts in the world market shares of automobile production

Three factors are driving these shifts between world market leaders and their market shares.The first factor concerns the almost continuously growing world car production by 66% from 2000 to 2017.

The second factor concerns the fact that China has become the focus of this growth. In 2000, only 3.5% of the global automotive industry took place in China. By 2017, China has long since become the world's number one car manufacturer with a market share of 29.8%, followed by the USA with a market share of 11.5%.

And finally, with growing automobile production in China, Chinese manufacturers are emerging, whose ten largest manufacturers already have a 34% share of the Chinese car production market in 2010. In 2017 this market share became 43% on the same level of the ten world market leaders, as a separate report in this magazine shows. 

Chinese car manufacturers were able to take advantage of the growth in automobile production in the world's leading car country with a market share of 43% and thus slow down the scope for growth of the ten largest world market leaders in general.

The emergence of the Chinese market-leading automakers also benefited the world market leaders with market shares of 5% and below 10% and disadvantaged world market leaders with smaller and larger market shares.