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A Decade of Global Car Sales: Trends, Challenges, and the 2023 Forecast


The automotive industry has witnessed significant fluctuations in worldwide car sales over the past decade. From 2010 to 2022, the number of cars sold globally experienced both ups and downs, reflecting various economic and technological factors at play. This blog post will take a closer look at the annual car sales worldwide from 2010 to 2022, and look a forecast for 2023. We'll also explore the key drivers behind these trends, as well as potential challenges and opportunities for the industry moving forward.

A Decade in Review: 2010-2022

Car sales have fluctuated notably during the past decade. Here's a summary of global car sales (in million units) during this period:

  • 2010-2019*: 71.10 million

  • 2019: 74.90 million

  • 2020: 63.80 million

  • 2021: 66.70 million

  • 2022: 67.20 million

The data reveals a general upward trend in car sales, with a peak in 2019 at 74.90 million units. However, 2020 saw a significant drop to 63.80 million units, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy. The industry began to recover in 2021 with 66.70 million units sold, followed by a slight increase in 2022 with 67.20 million units.

Forecast for 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, we forecast a continued recovery in the automotive market, with an expected 70.80 million units to be sold globally. This optimistic outlook is based on several factors, including economic recovery, advancements in technology, and increasing consumer confidence.

Key Drivers Behind the Trends

  1. Economic Factors: The global economy plays a crucial role in determining car sales. A strong economy boosts consumer confidence and encourages spending on big-ticket items like automobiles. Conversely, economic downturns, like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, can lead to reduced consumer spending and lower car sales.

  2. Technological Advancements: The automotive industry has experienced rapid technological advancements in recent years, particularly in the areas of electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous driving, and connectivity. These innovations have driven consumer interest and increased demand for newer, more advanced vehicles.

  3. Government Policies and Incentives: Many governments worldwide have implemented policies and incentives to encourage the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. These initiatives, such as tax credits and subsidies, have played a significant role in boosting car sales, particularly for EVs.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the automotive industry has shown signs of recovery, it also faces several challenges and opportunities for growth.

  1. Continued Adoption of Electric Vehicles: As environmental concerns and stricter emissions regulations drive the shift toward electric and hybrid vehicles, the automotive industry must continue to adapt and invest in new technologies to stay competitive.

  2. Supply Chain Disruptions: The global semiconductor shortage, which began in 2020, has had a significant impact on the automotive industry, leading to production delays and reduced sales. Addressing this issue and improving supply chain resilience will be critical for the industry's future growth.

  3. Digitalization and Connectivity: The increasing demand for connected and autonomous vehicles presents both challenges and opportunities for the automotive industry. Manufacturers must invest in research and development to stay ahead of the competition and meet consumer expectations for advanced features and seamless connectivity.

  4. Changing Consumer Preferences: As consumers become more conscious of environmental issues and urban living trends, their preferences in vehicle types may shift. Smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and alternative modes of transportation like car-sharing services or public transportation, could impact car sales in the coming years.

  5. Geopolitical Factors: Trade policies, tariffs, and international relations can influence the global automotive market. Manufacturers will need to stay informed about these factors and adapt their strategies accordingly to minimize potential negative impacts on sales and supply chains.


The global automotive industry has experienced notable fluctuations in car sales over the past decade. Despite the challenges faced in recent years, the industry appears to be on the path to recovery, with a forecast of 70.80 million units sold worldwide in 2023. To sustain this growth, automakers must continue to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences, invest in new technologies, and navigate the complex global economic and geopolitical landscape. By doing so, they can capitalize on emerging opportunities and drive the future of the automotive industry.

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