Facts about the automobile industry

The automobile industry: the engine of Europe.

Driving safe and sustainable mobility

  • Europe’s cars, vans, trucks and buses are the cleanest, safest and quietest in the world.
  • Europe leads the way in clean production, with decreasing quantities of water and energy used to manufacture a vehicle, and much less CO2 and waste produced in the process.

Moving people

  • Cars and buses provide freedom and mobility for all, providing us with direct access to education, health and employment.

Delivering the goods

  • Trucks and vans deliver the goods and services we take for granted in our daily lives, carrying 74.4% of freight transported over land and delivering 14.7 billion tonnes of goods per year.

Serving the community

  • Many of our essential public services – such as postal, waste and emergency services – are delivered by cars, trucks and vans.

Powering economic growth

  • The turnover generated by the automotive sector represents 7% of the EU’s total GDP.
  • The automobile industry has ripple effects throughout the economy, supporting a vast supply chain and generating an array of business services.

Creating skilled jobs

  • 13 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.4 million – are in the automotive sector.

Manufacturing in Europe

  • Vehicle manufacturing is a strategic industry in the EU, where 13.1 million cars, vans, trucks and buses are manufactured per year.
  • Automobile manufacturers operate some 164 vehicle assembly and production plants in the European Union.

Exporting worldwide

  • The European auto industry is a global player, delivering quality ‘Made in Europe’ products around the world, and generating a €101.9 billion trade surplus for the EU.

Generating government revenue

  • Motor vehicles account for €374.6 billion in taxes in major European markets.

Spurring innovation

  • The automotive sector is the EU’s number one investor in R&D, responsible for 31% of total spending.
  • EU automotive investment in R&D has increased by 0.5% to reach €59.1 billion annually.
  • Europe leads the world in patents for self-driving vehicles, accounting for 33.3% of all applications.
The automobile industry: the engine of Europe.
Content type Fact
Vehicle types All vehicles
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