Total global car exports by country were valued at US$744.7 billion for 2018. Cars represent the world’s number three exported product by value, trailing both exports of crude oil and refined petroleum oils.
The $744.7 billion in total international car exports for 2018 represents a 5.1% increase since 2014 but a -0.7% slowdown compared to the $749.7 billion spent worldwide during 2017.
Among continents, European countries generated the highest dollar value worth of car exports during 2018 with shipments amounting to $402.7 billion or 54.1% of overall international car sales. In second place was Asia at 24.6% followed by North American automobile exporters at 19%.
Smaller percentages of overall car exports came from Africa (1.3%), Latin America (0.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean then Oceania (0.04%) led by Australia.
The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for cars is 8703.
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cars in 2018.
- Germany: US$154.7 billion (20.8% of total cars exports)
- Japan: $99.1 billion (13.3%)
- United States: $51.4 billion (6.9%)
- Mexico: $49.4 billion (6.6%)
- United Kingdom: $42 billion (5.6%)
- Canada: $41 billion (5.5%)
- South Korea: $38.2 billion (5.1%)
- Spain: $35.5 billion (4.8%)
- Belgium: $34.2 billion (4.6%)
- France: $25.2 billion (3.4%)
- Slovakia: $22 billion (3%)
- Italy: $16.9 billion (2.3%)
- Turkey: $12.4 billion (1.7%)
- Sweden: $11.6 billion (1.6%)
- Thailand: $11.1 billion (1.5%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 86.6% of global cars exports in 2018 by value.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing cars exporters since 2014 were: Sweden (up 135.5%), Turkey (up 71.5%), Thailand (up 70%) and Mexico (up 52.5%).
Five countries posted declines in their exported cars sales namely: United States (down -16.6%), South Korea (down -14.7%), Canada (down -8.6%), Germany (down -3.5%) and United Kingdom (down -0.9%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports involving international car sales for 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s car exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Germany: US$93.2 billion (net export surplus down -18.1% since 2014)
- Japan: $86.9 billion (up 11.3%)
- Mexico: $38.8 billion (up 62.9%)
- South Korea: $27 billion (down -26.4%)
- Slovakia: $19 billion (up 51.5%)
- Spain: $13.2 billion (down -21.5%)
- Canada: $11.1 billion (down -38%)
- Thailand: $9.9 billion (up 88.3%)
- India: $6.9 billion (up 24.1%)
- Turkey: $6.5 billion (reversing a -$465 million deficit)
- Hungary: $5.5 billion (down -14.6%)
- Sweden: $2.93 billion (reversing a -$3.1 billion deficit)
- Romania: $2.87 billion (up 13.4%)
- Indonesia: $2.21 billion (up 90.3%)
- South Africa: $2.17 billion (reversing a -$335.5 million deficit)
Germany has the highest surplus in the international trade of cars. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Germany’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for cars during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s car import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United States: -US$127.1 billion (net export deficit up 34.2% since 2014)
- China: -$41 billion (down -25.7%)
- Australia: -$16.5 billion (up 15.5%)
- Italy: -$15.5 billion (up 37.9%)
- France: -$13 billion (up 10.5%)
- Switzerland: -$9.9 billion (down -2.1%)
- United Arab Emirates: -$9.7 billion (up 60.5%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$7.5 billion (down -50.5%)
- Norway: -$6.2 billion (up 13.5%)
- Russia: -$6 billion (down -48.8%)
- Taiwan: -$5 billion (up 110.9%)
- Chile: -$4.8 billion (up 41.7%)
- Israel: -$4.5 billion (up 12.1%)
- Belgium: -$4.4 billion (reversing a $2.4 billion surplus)
- Netherlands: -$4 billion (down -35.9%)
The United States incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of cars far ahead of second-place China. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights the America’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for car-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand that U.S. drivers represent.
Car Exporting Companies
According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following car and truck producing companies are among the top 100 largest companies in the world:
- Toyota Motor (Japan)
- Volkswagen Group (Germany)
- Daimler (Germany)
- Ford Motor (United States)
- BMW Group (Germany)
- General Motors (United States)
- Honda Motor (Japan)
- Hyundai Motor (South Korea)
- Nissan Motor (Japan)
- SAIC Motor (China)
The above corporations are presented in the same order as they appear in the Forbes listing.