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Automakers produced 13.72 million vehicles in the US in 2020, according to the Department of Energy, which tracks car manufacturing numbers by year and type of car. That number reflects a pandemic-related dip in production trends. During the previous five years, car manufacturers produced 16–17 million vehicles per year.

What types of vehicles are built in the US?

Of the vehicles produced in 2020, SUVs made up the biggest portion at 7.1 million (52% of the total for that year). Cars accounted for 4.25 million (31%). Pickup trucks were at 1.98 million (14%), followed by vans at 400,000 (3%).

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How many jobs does the auto industry create?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the auto industry employed an average of 4,364,800 people in 2022. Overall, the auto industry employs approximately 1.3% of the US population and 1.7% of the US workforce.

Auto industry job categories

Auto industry employment numbers include vehicle and parts manufacturing, wholesale trade (when retailers buy and sell cars at auctions to manage inventory), retail trade (car dealerships and accessory stores), and repair and maintenance services. The BLS further defines each industry area here.

From June 2022 to June 2023, employment in all categories grew, except for jobs specifically in manufacturing motor vehicle bodies and trailers.

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Which states have the most automotive manufacturing jobs?

Michigan employs the highest number of people in the auto industry annually in terms of both vehicle manufacturing (43,800 people) and parts manufacturing (123,000).

Michigan is followed by California (32,300 people) and Kentucky (23,300) in vehicle manufacturing employment numbers. For parts manufacturing, Ohio (64,900 people) and Indiana (56,800) employ the second- and third-highest numbers of people in the industry.

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Total annual average auto industry employment by selected state, 2022
State Employees
Michigan 166,800
Indiana 108,200
Ohio 86,000
Kentucky 56,200
Alabama 44,900
California 32,300
Texas 14,900
Missouri 11,600
New York 9,200
Mississippi 5,700

Where this data came from

The Department of Energy tracks the number and type of cars produced in the US per year, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks employment by industry and state. The Environmental Protection Agency also has data tools that explore vehicle trends and preliminary data for 2022.

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