The United States, Germany and China were the countries that ranked first among the world’s largest car importers in 2021.
Foreign purchases from the United States, which was the leader in this classification, totaled 148.145 million dollars, an increase of 2% year-on-year.
They were followed by: Germany ($66.769 million, +1%), China ($48.769 million, +9%), France ($40.25 billion, +10%) and the United Kingdom ($35.775 million, +3 percent).
Global auto production was particularly affected by supply problems for semiconductors.
Although base effects ensured strong growth earlier in the year, semiconductor shortages worsened so significantly in the second half of the year that many automakers had to respond by cutting production or even temporarily closing entire plants, according to the German company BASF.
As a result, auto production grew only slightly overall, 2.5% in 2021, after contracting 15.9% the year before.
Production levels remained exceptionally low, with a total of around 76 million vehicles produced worldwide in 2021.
Similarly low production volumes were last recorded in the early 2010s.
While moderate growth (+5.1%) was achieved in Asia, the North American market stagnated (+0.1 percent).
By contrast, in the European Union, production decreased 6.2% in 2021, after a drop of almost 25% in 2020.
Of all the regions, South America achieved the highest growth rate; however, it experienced the strongest drop in the previous year (2021: +16.1%; 2020: -31.1 percent).
Other major car importers in 2021 were: Belgium (31.92 billion dollars), Canada (27.818 million), Italy (25.047 million), Australia (17.566 million) and Spain (15.340 million), according to data from the World Organization for Trade (WTO).