These statistics present the calculation of the world motor vehicle production for 1998.

This calculation has been carried out on the basis of answers received to OICA questionnaires, completed by data from statistical publications of trade associations, members or correspondents of OICA, and some other sources.

The production of four types of vehicles has been determined (see definitions). The limit used for the breakdown of commercial vehicles and heavy trucks is theoretically 5 tons. Minibuses have been incorporated to LCV’s.

The reason for these two principles is presented in the chart reviewing the various international classifications in use.

The internationalisation of manufacturers activities results in the movement of knocked down (KD) elements between assembly plants located in different countries. The counting of these KD sets sometimes interferes with that of built up vehicles in the statistical tables. National associations provide OICA with production and assembly data by country which are presented in the second part of this brochure. Total production, excluding assembly, is a minimal approach to world production; however, assembly as a whole cannot be added since some KD elements have already been incorporated in the production figure.

Real world production stands somewhere in between these two limits. It can only be obtained by the examination of the vehicle production data and the identification for each one of them of the final production location of built up vehicles. This work has been carried out in OICA on the basis of different sources. The most reliable world production figure which has been defined is broken down by vehicle type, economic area and manufacturer.

Comments from associations on these data are welcome.

As a consequence of agreements between manufacturers, certain vehicles are labelled under a make differing from that of the manufacturer which has conceived and produced the vehicle. When this production does not appear in the trade organisation statistics, the logic which prevails is that of the manufacturer responsible for the conception and production of the vehicle.

Finally, concentration in the automobile industry has been taken into account and for the year under study, automotive groups are those at the year end period, as they appear in the trade associations data.

For 1998, production of the DaimlerChrysler group has been aggregated.

World motor vehicle production and exports


Total world motor vehicle production decreased by 2.7 % and reached at 53 million vehicles. Significant variations appear by economic area.

• World vehicle production increased sharply by 8 % at 16.6 million vehicles in the European Union. Also. In the rest of Europe, it went up by 4 %.

• Motor vehicle production, remained unchanged at 16 million vehicles in NAFTA countries.

• In Japan, it decreased by 7 % and reached 10 million vehicles.

• Motor vehicle production decreased sharply in South America (- 19 %), in South Korea (-13 %) and in other Asian countries (-16 %).  

The ranking of major automobile manufacturers changed in 1998 as a result of new concentration which characterised the automobile sector.

• Total motor vehicle exports went up 6 %, including intra European exports