The Automotive Industry as 100 Cars

The Automotive Industry as 100 Cars

Last Updated February 5, 2020

Imagine the entire American automotive industry represented by 100 cars. What would it look like? How many are manual or transmission? Bought or leased? What are the most popular colors, makes, and models? And, more importantly, how do you compare?

View the infographic below for an inside look at popular consumer trends in the American auto industry.

[click the infographic below]

Automotive Industry as 100 Cars

Let's take a closer look.

  • Type of Vehicle

    While light-duty truck sales saw a dip during the recession, they have since recovered and continued to outsell cars in 2014.

  • Manufacturer

    Five years after the recession and U.S. automotive industry crisis, Detroit's Big Three -- GM, Ford, and Chrysler -- are still in the top spots  at 18%, 16%, and 13% respectively.

  • New vs. Used

    Used vehicles continue to make up over 75% of American vehicles. While the cost of used vehicles rose slightly in 2014 -- due to a rise in demand for used vehicles -- prices are expected to come back down due to an increased inventory of used vehicles. 25% of all vehicles purchased in 2014 came from leases, and it's expected that inventory will receive a further boost from more leased vehicles being turned in this year.

  • Best-Selling Brands

    The Ford F-Series pickup was the most popular vehicle of 2014 by a stretch -- making it the top-selling vehicle for the 33rd year in a row.

  • Domestic vs. Import

    Although the top manufacturers are domestic, imports continue to represent the majority of American vehicles.

  • Standard vs. Luxury

    While luxury cars represent just 7% of car purchases, the luxury market has continue to grow faster than the overall new-car market in recent years. This growth is expected to continue through 2015.

  • Vehicle Color

    White has been the most popular vehicle color in the U.S. for the last eight years. The benefits of white vehicles include: increased safety at dawn and dusk and less sunlight absorption than darker colors. White vehicles also retain their value better than other colors due to the consistent demand for white vehicles.

  • Purchased vs. Leased

    In 2014, the rate of new-car sales that were leased was the highest it has ever been for the last decade. While just over 25% of new-car sales were leased, many are observing a shift in consumers. While consumers are increasingly valuing lower monthly payments over vehicle ownership.

  • Fuel Types

    Despite the buzz surrounding electric and other alternative-fuel vehicles, sales are equal with those of diesel vehicles (4%). When asked why they don't purchase an alternative-fuel vehicle, 70% of respondents cited the cost of these vehicles as their reason in a recent survey.

  • Transmission

    It makes sense that manual vehicles make up just 6.5% of cars. Only about 10% of vehicles made in North America now have manual transmission.

Sources: Detroit News, Huffington Post, Fox News, Bloomberg

The Automotive Industry as 100 Cars

The automotive industry as a whole is massive. But what if the entire industry was represented by 100 cars. What would it look like? Check out this infographic to see how the automotive industry shakes out as CJs looks at ten key areas such as new vs used and purchased vs leased.