Why is America so car dependent?

Anyone who looks at car sales number in the US, is bound to ask this question.

Out of total global annual sales of approx 86 mn units, US alone accounts for 13.6 mn units (based on September 2022 selling rate). This is second largest after China, that contributes 30 mn units. Just for reference, India despite being one of the fastest growing and now also the 3rd largest, currently stands low at 4.4 mn annual units.

Significance of the US sales –

  • It has 4% of the global population, but contributes 16% of the global annual car sales
  • Though US is half of China’s sales, it has less than 1/4th of China’s population.
  • US sells 3x of India sales to 1/4th of it’s population. Companies like Ford, GM, Toyota alone sell around 2 mn units in the US;  equivalent to half of India’s annual sales.

Yes, growth is tapering down and America is no more the fastest growing in terms of sales. In fact, now for many years there are discussions as to how to reduce it’s car dependency; to protect the environment, improve traffic situation and better manage the infrastructure.

Besides, significant growth is expected in China and India, which should narrow the gap.

However, US has been selling huge numbers for decades and it’s important to know why.

Below article provides a good historical perspective on the same and as a bonus also compares that with rest of the world.

Check it out

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