Source: Hedges Company
Source: Hedges Company
According to the Hedges Company, there were 286.9 million registered cars in the US in 2020. That’s 0.84% more than 2019’s 284.5 million units. The same study also suggests that by the end of 2021, 289.5 million vehicles would be roaming the roads of America (Hedges Company).
The US automotive industry has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. This is due to factors such as the oil and energy crisis, improvement of fuel economy, fluctuation of gas prices, innovative upgrades, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some factors have a larger impact than others. For instance, the Cash for Clunkers (Investopedia, 2020) was deemed as one of the biggest causes of the big sales gap between 2009 and 2010.
The article provides a peek into the state of the automotive industry in the US through sales, distribution, and market shares.
California Texas Florida New York Ohio Pennsylvania Illinois Georgia North Carolina Michigan Source: Highway Statistics
Top 10 States With the Most Number of Registered Cars 2019
New York: 11389158
North Carolina: 8527388
Source: Highway StatisticsDesigned by
A survey by US Dept. of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration released in 2020 revealed that California is by far the state with the most number of registered vehicles in the US (US Department of Transportation, 2020). Coming from the most populous US federal state, this number isn’t surprising. Interestingly, only 598,270 of 31,247,270 California-based vehicles are publicly owned. That leaves 98.09% of these automobiles being either used for private or commercial purposes.
On the other hand, Vermont is on the lowest end of the spectrum when it comes to car population; with a mere 620,428 registered vehicles. However, as with California, Alaska has the same distribution rate of 2% to 98% of publicly owned automobiles to privately/commercially owned ones, respectively (Federal Highway Administration, 2020).
Source: Highway Statistics
Source: Highway Statistics
For the past 42 years, Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the US. However, in 2019, it was kicked out of the top ranks and surpassed by Toyota Rav4. It’s also been a good year for Honda CR-V. In general, 2019 proved to be a good year for Japanese car brands.
Light-duty vehicles are known for their improved fuel economy as well as great range of utility. This makes them the go-to automobile for savvy consumers. In fact, the chart prior shows how popular this type of vehicle is, with Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue dominating market sales in the US (GoodCarBadCar.net, 2020).
2020 was also fruitful for SUVs, both for US-based and Japanese carmakers. Sales for the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, for instance, increased in 2020 compared to 2019—despite the financial challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The automotive sector won’t be considering 2020 as its best year so far as major players in the industry have experienced negative YoY growth. Take passenger car sales, for instance, which had only sold 166,400 units in April 2020, the slowest month for all vehicle types (St. Louis Fed, 2021).
Source: St. Louis Fed
Source: St. Louis Fed
Having fewer selling days due to the COVID-19 lockdowns is definitely a factor contributing to the downturn. Economic and financial elements, influenced by the pandemic or otherwise, also play a role in the decline.
Some experts suggest that finance-wise, shoppers are finding it hard to keep up with the increasing costs and interest rates of vehicles. With that said, however, the fact that sales slowly picked up right after the biggest April 2020 slump is showing hope. Although Jan 2021 numbers are significantly lower than Dec 2020, we might still see them soar the rest of the year (St. Louis Fed, 2021).
In 2016, 17.5 million automobiles were sold in the United States. About 65% of them were produced in the US (American Auto Index, 2018). This made the automotive industry one of the major driving forces in the US economy. In 2020, as per usual, the Detroit Big Three automakers, namely General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are still in the overall ranking of leading car manufacturers in the US. However, Japanese names, including Toyota and Honda are also proving to be a force to reckon with.
As previously mentioned, light-vehicles are the most popular type of automobile among the US consumers. While Ford F-Series is the best-selling car in the US for decades now, in 2019, pickup trucks in general are only second in terms of market share. Crossover types such as Toyota RAV4 have dominated the field for the said year.
The United States, next to China, is the world’s second largest automobile market in terms of new light vehicle registrations. It has around 17.55 million light vehicles registered. The biggest player in the US automotive industry, General Motors, was able to net over $108.32 billion in 2020. About 10% of that revenue came from the international market while the major cut came from North America.
Source: General Motors
Source: General Motors
With that said, however, General Motors isn’t the go-to automaker of US consumers when it comes to imported cars. In 2020, Toyota was able to sell 2,112,940 units of light vehicles in the US. Following it was Honda Motor Company at 1,336,787 units and the Hyundai Kia Auto Group at 1,222,314 (GoodCarBadCar, 2021).
Toyota Motor Co2,112,940
Ford Motor Company2,034,600
Honda Motor Company1,336,787
Hyundai Kia Auto Group1,222,314
Nissan Motor Co1,004,651
Source: GoodCarBadCar, 2021Designed by
As of 2020, there are over a million EVs (Electric Vehicles) on the US road (Argonne National Laboratory, 2021). In 2019 alone, the sales of electric cars surpassed the 2.1 million mark globally (IEA, 2020). It seems the transition to this type of futuristic vehicle has no signs of stopping. In fact, Edison Electric Institute projected that EV stock will reach 18.7 million by 2030 (Edison Electric Institute, 2018).
Automakers have been developing more EV models to satisfy consumer demands. The most prominent ones include BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). There have been a few dozen models and brands circulating the market. However, when it comes to EV sales in the US, Tesla is still the most popular, making up 78% of the entire market share.
Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model X Chevy Bolt Tesla Model S Nissan LEAF Audi e-tron Volkswagen e-Golf BMW i3 Others Sources: Automakers, CleanTechnica, EV Volumes
US Electric Vehicle Sales from January - December 2019
Tesla Model 3: 154,836 units
Tesla Model X: 18,500 units
Chevy Bolt: 16,418 units
Tesla Model S: 13,300 units
Nissan LEAF: 12,365 units
Audi e-tron: 5,369 units
Volkswagen e-Golf: 4,863 units
BMW i3: 4,854 units
Others: 14,208 units
Tesla Model 3154,836 units
Tesla Model X18,500 units
Chevy Bolt16,418 units
Tesla Model S13,300 units
Nissan LEAF12,365 units
Audi e-tron5,369 units
Volkswagen e-Golf4,863 units
BMW i34,854 units
Sources: Automakers, CleanTechnica, EV VolumesDesigned by
With the expected boom of the Electric Vehicles market, various measures need to be set up. For instance, in order to support the 18.7 million EV estimate in 2030, automakers must install about 9.6 million charge ports at workplaces, homes, and public places. This is a major investment in terms of EV charging infrastructure.
The available technology at hand is a big factor in the automotive industry’s advancement. It may affect the vehicle design, manufacturing, distribution, and other innovation of the automobile sector. This means that in order to monitor and forecast the changes in the industry, one must keep up with the technology trends that emerge.
This is especially true to modern approaches when it comes to vehicle design. For instance, the wide proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices will help in the development of autonomous vehicles. Moreover, with 28.5 million cars embedded with telematics sold in 2019 (BNEF, 2020), the global connected car market is expected to reach $166 billion by 2025 (Markets and Markets, 2020)—this growth will eventually be fueled by technological advancements in manufacturing.
Robot adoption of a more advanced degree has the potential to heavily streamline the manufacturing process as well. Not only that, but artificial intelligence has been making life easier for both consumers and manufacturers alike. With capabilities such as driver assist, automated guided vehicles, infotainment control and more, it’s no wonder that the automotive AI market exceeded $1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 35% through 2026 (Global Market Insights, 2019).
FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.