The automotive industry affects lives across the world in many ways as it employs millions of people directly and indirectly. For much of the developed and developing world, it is a flag of economic progress. A unique phenomenon, which has dominated the twentieth century, it is impossible to develop an efficient steel business, a plastic or a glass sector, or any other central foundation of economic progress without the presence of the automotive industry.
The scale and influence of the automotive industry is vast. Roughly 1.7 million new passenger cars and trucks are built around the world each week; they are easily the most complex products of their kind to be mass-produced in such volumes.
The industry uses cutting-edge manufacturing technology: it uses 15% (per cent) of the world’s steel, 40% (per cent) of the world’s rubber and 25% (per cent) of the world’s glass. The vehicles themselves use a staggering 40& (per cent) of the world’s annual oil output. The automotive industry is the world’s largest single manufacturing activity.
To keep pace with ever-growing consumer demand for sophisticated new technologies, recent studies show that automakers spend more than USD100 billion annually on research and development.
The global automotive industry is a key sector of the economy for every major country in the world. The industry continues to grow, registering a 30% increase over the past decade.
Building vehicles requires the employment of people directly in making the vehicles and in parts that go into them. It is estimated that each direct automotive-job supports at least another five indirect jobs, as many are employed in automotive-related manufacturing and services. Automobiles are built using the goods of many industries, including steel, iron, aluminium, plastics, carpeting, textiles, computer chips, rubber and other elements.