Automotive Industry Statistics

17 New Automotive Industry Statistics and Trends in 2024

Published on: December 13, 2023
Last Updated: December 13, 2023

17 New Automotive Industry Statistics and Trends in 2024

Published on: December 13, 2023
Last Updated: December 13, 2023

Mercedes Benz created the Benz Velo in 1894, it’s considered the first standardized car.

The first car to be mass-produced in the US was the curved Dash Oldsmobile. It was first offered in 1901.

The car industry has changed drastically since those early days.

Today, it’s worth billions of dollars.

However, as the following automotive industry statistics show, it’s not all plain sailing. 

Automobiles are exceptionally important to individuals across the globe, it’s time to find out how that passion translates into statistics. 

Key Statistics

  • In 2020, US light vehicle sales topped 14.5 million units
  • Over $66 billion worth of automobiles were exported by the US in 2020
  • Over 4.8 million jobs were generated in the US by the automobile industry in 2021
  • 1.25% of working americans work in the automobile industry
  • US car and parts manufacturers took $1.53 trillion in 2021 
  • The average new car costs $48,000 in 2023
  • COVID-19 caused a 13% drop in US emissions in 2020
  • Approximately 39,000 people died in car accidents in the US in 2020
  • In the US light trucks and su vs remain the most popular choice
  • Tesla saw a 20.8% increase in sales in january 2020
  • The ford f-series is the top seller in the US
  • 40.42 million used cars sold in the US in 2018
  • Peak car sale season in the US is between february and may
  • The automobile industry is the main source of revenue for advertising on television
  • By 2030 global automotive revenue will be $9 trillion
  • 6.6% of total EU employment is within the automotive industry
  • The average US automotive production worker earns $31,000 annually

Top Automotive Industry Statistics in 2024

Automotive 626

1. In 2020, US Light Vehicle Sales Topped 14.5 Million Units

The US is known as a country of car lovers. It’s also the place where many new designs and technological advancements are first tested. 

It’s hardly surprising that the US automobile industry is one of the largest in the world.% According to official statistics, over 14.5 million vehicles were sold in 2020.

That’s the year the global pandemic hit. 

It’s worth noting that international vehicle manufacturers were responsible for producing 5 million cars in the US.

That means two-thirds of the vehicles produced and sold were made in America by American companies. 

Interestingly, the number of cars sold in the US in 2021 was very similar.

Official statistics show it as just short of 15 million vehicles. 

The statistics also show that nearly 14 million cars were sold in 2022.

This indicates the recovery is still ongoing. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, there were over 17 million vehicles sold in the US. 


2. Over $66 Billion Worth Of Automobiles Were Exported By The US In 2020

The US appetite for new vehicles is huge.

However, not all vehicles made in the US stay in the country. Many are exported to satisfy foreign orders.

According to the latest statistics, in 2020 the US sold 1.4 million light vehicles and nearly 110,000 medium and heavy trucks to various countries across the globe. 

It’s estimated that US-made vehicles ended up in over 200 different countries and the total value of vehicles exported was in excess of $66 billion.

That’s a significant contribution to the GDP. 

It’s worth noting that international vehicle manufacturers have built approximately 70 research and development facilities in the US.

This confirms their dedication to the US market and that the US automotive industry is likely to continue dominating the world. 


3. Over 4.8 Million Jobs Were Generated In The US BY The Automobile Industry In 2021

A recent survey by IHS Markit found that 4.8 million US jobs were created by the automobile industry in 2021.

This includes direct work, indirect, and even induced jobs. 

The US market is likely to continue to grow and with it the workforce.

This is partly because direct investment in the US automobile industry foreign businesses continues to rise.

In 2019 it was recorded at $143.3 billion.  

Foreign-owned vehicle manufacturers are known to directly support over 400,000 US jobs.

Of course, many automobile manufacturers in the US and across the globe use US engines, transmissions, and other parts in their own vehicles.

That helps to keep the demand for US workers. 

(IHS Markit)

4. 1.25% Of Working Americans Work In The Automobile Industry

According to a 2021 survey by Statista, 1.25% of the working US population are currently employed in the automobile industry. 

It may not sound like a huge number. However, there are approximately 164 million people in the US either in work or seeking employment. 

When you calculate 1.25% of this it equates to a little over 2 million people.

That’s a lot of people in one industry. 

To further quantify this it’s worth noting that the biggest industry in the US by employment number, is public schooling.

That only has 7 million employees. 

The hospital industry has 5.7 million employees, all other industries have less than 5 million employees in the US. 

It’s worth noting that the majority of the top ten industries in the US by employee number are service industries.  

An impressive additional fact concerning employees is the growth in car shop employees.

In November 2021 there were 1.25 million, registering as 21,900 more than in 2020.

It’s estimated that the percentage of workers employed in the automobile industry will rise to 2% by 2024.


5. US Car And Parts Manufacturers Took $1.53 Trillion In 2021

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According to the latest figures, the revenue from just the manufacturing of cars and car parts was $1.53 trillion in 2021. 

At this stage, the industry was still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The 2021 was a 3.34% increase on 2020.

The industry has continued to show signs of recovery. 

The US government set aside $82 billion to help the car industry survive 2020 and the global pandemic.

This was the second-biggest bailout by the government and has certainly helped the industry to recover. 

Banks had the biggest bailout with a whopping $250 billion!

It’s worth remembering that the car industry may focus on selling cars and parts to customers, but that the costs to buyers don’t end there. 

Alongside registration fees, it’s estimated that Americans pay nearly $700 billion on car-related loans and insurance.

(US Treasury)

6. The Average New Car Costs $48,000 In 2023

In general, the price of any product goes up, rarely down.

According to the latest figures, the average price of a new car in March 2023 in the US is $48,000.

Interestingly, in February of the same year, the average price was 1.1% lower.

However, it’s a 3.8% increase compared to the average price of a new car in 2022.

Of course, there are several factors influencing the price of new cars. Inflammation is perhaps the most obvious.

But, the rarity of certain resources, made worse by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is also negatively affecting supply and demand. In effect, it’s pushing prices up. 

That said, this trend has been continuing this way for many years.

Records show that the average price of a new car in 2000 was $21,850. That’s significantly lower than the $48,000 today. 

Part of this increase is fuelled by the sale of electric vehicles which cost more to produce and therefore sell for more. 

It’s not just the price of new cars that’s increasing. Surveys show that the price of used cars rose by 17% between 2020 and 2021.

Interestingly, used car prices went down by 0.2% between 2019 and 2020!

(Consumer Reports)

7. Covid-19 Caused A 13% Drop In US Emissions In 2020

Emissions are increasingly concerning as they have a direct effect on the environment and are contributing to climate change across the globe. 

Unfortunately, many countries in the Western world release significantly more toxic emissions than lesser developed countries. 

The US government is taking steps to reduce emissions.

However, the automobile industry makes a large contribution toward emissions.

This is illustrated by the drop in emissions during the global pandemic.

With periods when people were largely confined to their homes, vehicle use declined and with it, the level of emissions. 

Research shows that emissions from the US dropped by 13% during the pandemic lockdowns.

The moment the lockdowns ended the emission level started to rise again!

In short, to reduce emissions and help save the planet, the automobile industry is going to need better controls over emissions.

You should note, 28% of US greenhouse gas emissions are from the automobile industry.

(Consumer Reports)

8. Approximately 39,000 People Died In Car Accidents In The US In 2020

Every vehicle on the road has the potential to be in an accident. Sometimes they are a result of bad drivers, lack of attention, or some other avoidable factor.

In other cases, the accident was truly unavoidable. 

Accidents can result in injury and death. Any death following a car accident is regrettable.

However, what is interesting is that the number of car accident deaths in 2020 was 7.2% higher than in 2019.

What is truly alarming about this fact is that, according to statistics, vehicles covered 13.2% mess miles in 2020 and 2019.

This was also thanks to the pandemic. 

In short, deaths went up while car usage went down. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 38,680 people died as a result of car accidents in 2020.

In 2021 the figure got worse, with 42,939 deaths from car accidents.

While people were driving more than in 2020, this increase suggests a serious lack of concentration while driving. 

On the plus side, the number of deaths from car accidents in 2022 was 42,795. That’s a small decrease from 2021.

(Consumer Reports)

9. In The US Light Trucks And SUVs Remain The Most Popular Choice

In recent years, the price of fuel in many countries has been steadily rising.

For example, it’s now common in European countries to see prices of nearly $2 per liter. 

However, in the US the price has stayed below $1, averaging $0.93 per liter.

This is partly due to government intervention. 

The result is that buyers are still happy to purchase less economical vehicles, such as light trucks and SUVs, as opposed to compact automobiles. 

Naturally, insulating the population against fuel price rises means people are less concerned with emissions and fuel consumption.

That’s why cutting emissions is proving to be so difficult. 

However, it is worth noting that the most popular passenger car in the US, according to the number sold in January 2020, was the Toyota Camry. 

The second most popular was the Toyota Corolla, followed by the Honda Civic.


10. Tesla Saw A 20.8% Increase In Sales In January 2020

How Many Cars Does Tesla Produce A Year

Electric cars are gradually becoming more popular.

With a rapidly expanding network of charging points they are also becoming more practical.

While the Nissan Leaf was the first all-electric mass-produced automobile, there is no doubt that Tesla has stolen the stage.

It’s powerful, surprisingly fast, and practical. 

However, it’s not the cheapest option when looking to buy a new car.

This doesn’t appear to be stopping people from investing. 

According to the latest reports, Tesla sold 22,350 cars in January 2020.

That was a 20.8% increase compared to sales in January 2019.

Reports also show that many of the sales were Tesla Model 3, it is seen as the most desirable electric car on the market. 

It’s worth noting that Tesla isn’t the only vehicle manufacturer doing well.

According to the statistics, in the same period, BMW saw a 4.3% increase in sales.

Volkswagen enjoyed an 8.1% increase and even Mercedes Benz experienced a 6.8% growth. 

(Marklines Data Center)

11. The Ford F-Series Is The Top Seller In The US

A recent report by Statista emphasized the American’s love for light trucks and SUVs.

It showed that the most popular car by sales in the US in the first quarter of 2020 was the Ford F-Series.

An impressive 58,150 where sold in January alone of that year. 

The second spot goes to the Chevrolet Silverado, another light truck which experienced 43,030 sales in January 2020.

The Impressive Dodge Ram sold 38,986 in the same month, giving it the third spot and ensuring that light trucks were in the top three spots for automobile sales. 

The fourth spot goes to the Toyota Rav4 with 34,086 sales.

It’s not a light truck but it is an SUV. Even the fifth spot was taken by an SUV, the Honda CR-V with 26,027 sales. 

Unsurprisingly, a standard compact car doesn’t feature in the top five automobiles by US sales.


12. 40.42 Million Used Cars Sold In The US In 2018

The used car market has always been an important part of the automotive industry.

It’s essential that people can sell their used vehicles to replace them with new ones. 

The size of the used car market is a reflection of how well the new car market is doing.

It’s worth noting that the global pandemic actually helped to boost the amount of used vehicles sold.

It was a result of people being more cautious about spending.  

According to statistics, in 2018 there were 40.42 used cars sold across the US.

By 2022 this figure was down to 40.9 million used car sales. 

However, what these figures don’t show you is the effect of the global pandemic.

The statistics show that 37 million used car sales were made in 2020.

In other words, the 2022 figure is a 10% increase on 2020 and an indication that the used car market is continuing to grow.

(Research And Markets)

13. Peak Car Sale Season In The US Is Between February And May

According to statistics, there were 282 million vehicles registered in the US in 2021.

That’s passenger cars, light trucks, motorbikes, and even buses. 

That’s an impressive sum considering there are approximately 330 million people living in the US. 

The majority of people change cars at the same time each year.

In fact, surveys show that the most popular time to purchase a car in the US is between the end of February and the end of May. 

It’s not clear why this is the most popular, although it could be connected to the approach of summer and people generally feeling more positive. 

You should note that the price of vehicles tends to increase by as much as 15% whenever vehicles are in high-demand, particularly during peak season. 

By contrast, the price of vehicles will be significantly lower in December, the most unpopular time to change your vehicle.

There is often a peak in demand during September, October, and November, although this doesn’t generally match the peak earlier in the year.


14. The Automobile Industry Is The Main Source Of Revenue For Advertising On Television

Everyone will have a fond memory of a particular automobile advertisement.

They have been appearing on television for years, it’s one of the most effective ways to reach their target audience. 

The advantage of television advertising is that you can illustrate the vehicle undertaking a variety of tasks.

This can help to persuade people that it’s the right vehicle for them. 

Television adverts have become an integral part of the automotive industry.

In fact, the television advertising industry has become dependent on automobile manufacturers and sellers. 

Since 2015, adverts from the automobile industry make up the majority of television industry advertising revenue. 

That’s millions of dollars of investment by the automobile industry every year.


15. By 2030 Global Automotive Revenue Will Be $9 Trillion

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According to Statista surveys and predictions, the value of the global automotive industry is likely to reach $9 trillion by 2030. 

It’s interesting to note that just 38% of this value will be due to sales of new vehicles.

The majority of the revenue will be generated from after-market accessories, spare parts, used car sales, and innovations. 

It’s estimated that by 2030 electric car sales will account for 20% of all car sales.

Of course, this is based on the current expansion of electric cars and doesn’t allow for the creation of an environmentally friendly alternative fuel for the combustion engine. 


16. 6.6% Of Total EU Employment Is Within The Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is important in the US and provides jobs for millions of people.

However, it also plays an important role in the European economy.

According to the latest figures, the automotive industry in Europe provides 12.6 million people with jobs.

That’s direct jobs like car sales and service, as well as indirect jobs.

Approximately 3.5 million of these jobs are connected to the manufacturing of vehicles.

That means automotive employees in Europe make up 11.6% of all European manufacturing jobs.  


17. The Average US Automotive Production Worker Earns $31,000 Annually

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It’s funny, the automotive industry receives billions of dollars in revenue and is consistently growing. 

Yet, the average automotive production worker earns just $31,000 annually.

This may seem like a reasonable wage. However, the average salary in the US is $74,738.

That’s over double what an automotive worker earns. 

What’s more, for every dollar a white US automotive production employee earns, their Asian equivalent in the US will earn just $0.93.

It should be noted that the entry-level salary in the automotive industry is $22,000.


Summing Up

There are hundreds of fascinating automotive industry statistics.

That’s not surprising as the industry has been thriving for well over 100 years. 

The above statistics illustrate how the industry has managed to recover from the global pandemic.

They also show how important automotive industries are around the globe. 

This is one industry which is constantly evolving but is highly likely to be an important part of the global future.% 



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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.