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Toyota, Ford & Mercedes Among Top Exported Car Makes From The USA

New Mercedes GLS top usa car export container

Did you know that over 500,000 new, used, and classic cars are shipped overseas in containers each year? We took a dive into container shipping data for 2016 to see which auto makers made for the most popular exports. 

3. Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz is the most popular luxury auto brand to be shipped in containers during 2016. Over 15,000 Mercedes branded cars were exported from the US, 4% more than in 2015. The increase in volume can be attributed to a greater number of new Mercedes being shipped in containers by the manufacturer to Central and South America. Why use containers instead of RoRo ships? Ocean vessels carrying containers are able to dock at ports without RoRo service.

2. Ford

Container shippers exported 16,748 Ford vehicles, placing the automaker second among the top exported brands. Volume was up 4% over 2015. Demand for Ford cars overseas was driven by the new Ford Raptor, Hybrid vehicles, and classic cars such as the Mustang and F1 pickup. 

1. Toyota

Toyota is the number one auto brand exported from the USA in 2016. It took the top spot with 41,940 cars, just 1% lower than in 2015. That's 8% of all autos shipped in containers during 2016. Toyota continues to be one of the world's most in demand cars due to the low cost, reliability, and easily sourced parts. Toyota's are particularly popular exports to the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Interested in learning more and seeing a breakdown of which countries import the most cars from the United States? Download our Car Export report.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States exported approximately 1.5 million cars in 2021. Of these, approximately 1.2 million were exported in containers. This represents a decrease of approximately 10% from 2020, when the United States exported approximately 1.7 million cars.

The top five destinations for U.S. car exports in 2021 were:

  1. Canada: 360,000 cars
  2. Mexico: 250,000 cars
  3. China: 150,000 cars
  4. Japan: 120,000 cars
  5. South Korea: 100,000 cars

The decline in U.S. car exports in 2021 can be attributed to a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the global chip shortage, and the rising cost of shipping.

Despite the decline, the United States remains a major exporter of cars. In 2021, the United States was the third largest exporter of cars in the world, behind Germany and Japan.

The U.S. car industry is expected to rebound in 2022, and exports are expected to increase. However, the global chip shortage is expected to continue to be a challenge for the industry, and it is unclear how much of an impact it will have on exports.