Car production statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1
From Statistics Explained
- Data from January 2009. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database
This article belongs to a set of statistical articles which analyse the structure, development and characteristics of the various economic activities in the European Union (EU). According to the statistical classification of economic activities in the EU (NACE Rev 1.1), the present article covers the production of cars and other motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, corresponding to NACE Division 34, which is part of the transport equipment sector. The activities covered in this article are the manufacture of:
- bodies for motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (NACE Group 34.2);
- parts and accessories for motor vehicles and their engines (NACE Group 34.3).
The article does not cover the manufacture of tyres (see Rubber and plastics production statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1), nor that of batteries or other electrical equipment used in motor vehicles (see Electrical machinery and optical equipment production statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1).
Main statistical findings
According to VDA, the EU-25 produced 28.5 % of the world’s passenger cars in 2007 a slightly larger share than the three NAFTA countries (24.9 %), but less than the Asian total of 36.4 %. For information on the retail sale (rather than production) of motor vehicles please refer to the article on [Motor and fuel retail trade statistics].
The EU-27’s motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers (NACE Division 34) sector consisted of 18.4 thousand enterprises which generated EUR 144.0 billion of value added in 2006, which equated to 73.9 % of the transport equipment manufacturing (NACE Subsection DM) total. Its share of the transport equipment manufacturing workforce was less, at 70.9 %, implying a higher than average apparent labour productivity. Within this sector, the motor vehicles manufacturing subsector (NACE Group 34.1) generated 61.0 % of EU-27 sectoral value added, motor vehicle parts and accessories manufacturing (NACE Group 34.3) a further 33.3 %, and the manufacture of bodies, trailers and semi-trailers (NACE Group 34.2) the remaining 5.7 %; in employment terms the share of motor vehicles manufacturing was considerably lower and that of the other two subsectors higher.
As already noted, Germany dominated transport equipment manufacturing in general, and this was particularly true for the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers where it generated close to half (47.4 %) of the EU-27’s value added in 2006. Within the subsector of the manufacture of motor vehicles (NACE Group 34.1), Germany's share rose to 50.9 % of EU-27 value added, while for the motor vehicle parts and accessories manufacturing subsector Germany's share was 44.6 %; among the non-financial business economy NACE groups for which data are available these were respectively the third and fifth highest shares Germany recorded in the EU-27 total. Unsurprisingly, Germany was the most specialised Member State regarding the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, as this sector contributed 5.9 % of German non-financial business economy (NACE Sections C to I and K) value added. Looking in more detail, Slovenia and Sweden recorded a particularly high specialisation in the manufacture of bodies, trailers and semi-trailers, and the Czech Republic and Hungary in the manufacture of motor vehicle parts and accessories.
Output from the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers in the EU-27 increased each and every year between 1997 and 2007, with 5.8 % growth in the latest year available (2007), which was above the latest ten-year average of 4.4 % per year.
Expenditure and productivity
Gross tangible investment in the motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers manufacturing sector was EUR 25.7 billion in 2006, 81.4 % of all investment in transport equipment manufacturing. The investment rate of 17.9 % was above the industrial average, and the highest among the transport equipment manufacturing activities. Within this sector investment rates varied greatly from just 9.1 % for the manufacture of bodies, trailers and semi-trailers subsector to 20.4 % for the motor vehicles manufacturing subsector. Slovakia recorded an investment rate of 97.4 % in this sector, closely followed by Slovenia with a rate of 82.4 %.
Personnel costs accounted for 14.2 % of operating expenditure in the EU-27's motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers manufacturing sector in 2006, which was the lowest share within transport equipment manufacturing. For the motor vehicles manufacturing subsector the share was particularly low, at 12.1 %. Average personnel costs in the motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers manufacturing sector were EUR 47.6 thousand per employee, but this average disguised great differences between the subsectors. Average personnel costs for the motor vehicles manufacturing subsector were EUR 59.0 thousand per employee, the fourth highest average personnel costs in 2005 or 2006 among all of the NACE groups within the non-financial business economy; average personnel costs were at least EUR 22.0 thousand per employee lower in the other two subsectors. This disparity was reflected in the apparent labour productivity recorded for each subsector, which was EUR 79.7 thousand per person employed for the motor vehicles manufacturing subsector and was at least EUR 29.0 thousand per person employed lower in the other two subsectors. Despite these big differences, all three subsectors recorded relatively similar wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios, with the motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers manufacturing sector as a whole recording a ratio of 135.3 %. Several of the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 recorded particularly high wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios in this sector, notably Hungary and Poland (2005) where the latest figures available rose to over 300 %.
Data sources and availability
The main part of the analysis in this article is derived from structural business statistics (SBS), including core, business statistics which are disseminated regularly, as well as information compiled on a multi-yearly basis, and the latest results from development projects.
The transport equipment manufacturing sector is central to economic development, as it provides the means for transporting both individuals and goods. Demand for transport equipment has risen as the volume of goods transported and the distance travelled by passengers have expanded greatly – see the article on transport and storage statistics for information on transport flows.
The issue of sustainable development is likely to play an important role in future product developments, as transport equipment manufacturers try to meet demands for more environmentally friendly transport solutions, for example, engines with lower fuel consumption or emissions.
Most transport equipment manufacturing activities are structured on the basis of complex pyramidal relationships between major manufacturers and several tiers of component suppliers, ranging from systems suppliers down to very small, specialised manufacturers that may provide a single component for a vehicle. It is common to find clusters of enterprises concentrated in regions around the leading producers.
In December 2005 the European Commission published a ten year strategy for the EU's car sector put forward by the ‘CARS 21 High Level Group’. In October 2008 a conference based on a mid-term review of the strategy was held to focus on actions to foster a competitive European car industry. This recommended: a supportive regulatory framework and better regulation; basing future policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from road transport on an integrated approach involving motor vehicles, fuels, consumers/drivers and infrastructure; increased trade liberalisation, provided this is achieved on the basis of mutual benefit.
Reducing emissions remain a major issue for all types of vehicle manufacturing. In December 2007 the European Commission adopted a proposal (COM(2007) 856) for setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars. The aim is to introduce binding requirements on car manufacturers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, while at the same time trying to reduce emissions in other ways, for example, through changes in fuels, tyres and other components impacting fuel consumption. After the adoption of new standards (referred to as Euro 5 and 6) to reduce the emissions of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in 2007, the European Commission adopted in December 2007 a proposal (COM(2007) 851) for standards (referred to as Euro VI) for heavy duty vehicles. Compared to the Euro V standards, emissions of nitrogen oxides from lorries and buses should be reduced by 80 % and particulate matter by 66 %. In January 2009 a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council was adopted on the type-approval of hydrogen-powered motor vehicles, aiming to simplify the marketing of clean and safe hydrogen vehicles.
The motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers manufacturing sector is characterised by a structure that is dominated by enterprises belonging to a few very large enterprise groups. These are supported by partners and contractors who deliver systems, parts and accessories. Demand for vehicle parts and accessories is divided between that for original equipment (OE) which is supplied directly to motor vehicle manufacturers, and that for the after-market (AM) as used for the upkeep, repair and modification of vehicles. Larger vehicle parts suppliers tend to cluster around their major customers.
Further Eurostat information
- COM(2007) 856 final - Setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles
- COM(2007) 851 final - on type-approval of motor vehicles and engines with respect to emissions from heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information
- Regulation 79/2009 of 14 January 2009 on type-approval of hydrogen-powered motor vehicles, and amending Directive 2007/46
- European Commission Enterprise and Industry - Automotive Industry
- VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie)