US auto parts exports/imports and international markets

Canada, Mexico and China are the three highest-ranked markets for auto parts exports, although for significantly different reasons.

China is projected to produce over 27 million vehicles by 2020, and is the third largest market for US automotive parts. Click To TweetFor OEM as well as aftermarket parts, China ranks high because China has a very high level of vehicle production (an average of nearly 18 million vehicles per year from 2012 to 2014, second to the US). This level of vehicle production is more than twice as large as the next largest vehicle producer, Japan, which produced just over 8 million vehicles per year from 2012 to 2014. China is projected to manufacture over 27 million vehicles by 2020. This is why China is the third largest market for U.S. automotive parts, with US part exports growing from under $1 billion in 2009 to nearly $2.4 billion in 2015.

Canada and Mexico are the top two markets for OE and aftermarket parts, even though they produce fewer vehicles than China: Canada averaged about 1 million vehicles per year and Mexico averaged almost 2 million per year, between 2012 and 2014. Both Canada and Mexico have historically been the largest foreign markets for US automotive parts, accounting for almost three-quarters of all US auto parts exports in 2014 and 2015. This is partially because the automotive industry and automotive supply chains are highly integrated between Canada, Mexico and the United States, plus cross-border shipping is easier than with countries that require crossing an ocean.

The US automotive parts industry has nearly doubled since 2009. Click To TweetThe US automotive parts industry has nearly doubled since 2009. Large automakers now exist in all major countries around the world, including China, India and Russia, along with the traditional manufacturers in the US, Europe and Japan. Each OEM produces their own parts, including engines and transmissions, or frames and bodies. In recent years, more large OEM manufacturers look to “tier one” parts suppliers for the design and production of most components or large sub-assemblies. Many of these largest tier one suppliers are now as global as the vehicle manufacturers themselves.

Tier one companies are direct suppliers to OEMs. These suppliers, in turn, get parts and sub components from tier two and tier three companies. It is similar for aftermarket parts suppliers, but with some differences. A common aftermarket replacement part, such as a transmission or suspension part, may be the exact same part, built by the same OEM manufacturer/supplier. Specialty components and accessories, purchased by consumers to customize or enhance their vehicle, tend to come from non-tier one manufacturers.

The Federal International Trade Administration has ranked the top counties by their openness to trade for automotive aftermarket parts. Among the top 20 counties that receive auto parts exports from the US, the counties most open to trade are Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. Countries least open to trade with the US are Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia and Thailand.

Exports of auto parts from the United States

In 2017 the US exported over $85B in automotive parts, a 6.5% increase over 2016. Click To TweetIn 2016 the US exported over $85 billion in automotive parts. 2017 was up 6.5% over 2016. US auto parts exports have nearly doubled since 2009. The top five countries receiving OEM and aftermarket auto parts are Canada, Mexico, China, Germany and Japan. Countries receiving aftermarket parts only are Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Here is a table showing the top 20 countries that are export partners to the US, and the entire world, for the past seven years. The table includes both OEM and aftermarket auto parts and can be sorted and searched.

Table: Exports of Auto Parts From the US

Country2017201620152014201320122011
WORLD$85,461,040,529$80,232,899,069$81,114,080,072$81,206,051,718$77,591,726,329$75,005,895,119$67,833,279,640
Canada$31,260,531,100$30,954,143,515 $29,654,254,391 $30,663,858,437 $31,780,030,722 $31,837,622,201 $28,417,297,791
Mexico$29,766,511,793$28,372,161,115 $30,062,216,261 $29,156,114,498 $26,537,142,312 $24,341,278,512 $21,474,852,782
China$3,521,281,367$2,882,792,351 $2,390,362,228 $2,588,544,264 $2,288,017,980 $1,594,038,587 $1,540,714,169
Germany$2,298,964,569$2,026,156,666 $1,959,368,982 $1,818,598,683 $1,720,837,083 $1,636,035,254 $1,710,967,042
Brazil$2,110,448,579$1,118,985,917 $1,035,117,733 $1,071,251,336 $1,088,940,871 $1,010,769,712 $1,079,801,779
Japan$1,693,721,098$1,528,092,345 $1,505,820,240 $1,430,236,230 $1,343,638,824 $1,487,990,560 $1,439,386,822
United Kingdom$1,489,266,853$1,362,392,453 $1,438,009,786 $1,383,234,114 $952,224,528 $1,062,442,483 $1,115,835,758
Australia$1,124,187,311$1,047,206,981 $1,290,773,508 $1,436,665,050 $1,488,732,659 $1,935,275,238 $1,392,438,529
Netherlands$1,118,311,523$927,245,266 $796,911,778 $566,755,836 $351,616,690 $230,079,218 $280,785,851
Korea$861,144,594$967,213,576 $926,967,168 $903,512,498 $804,250,689 $707,173,809 $807,824,708
Italy$807,454,564$633,615,142 $810,472,302 $509,623,813 $334,383,821 $264,449,022 $247,057,723
Thailand$660,986,478$621,845,208 $337,692,538 $277,606,246 $376,012,415 $326,721,346 $167,823,224
United Arab Emirates$641,254,255$594,114,937 $690,435,606 $719,849,113 $567,867,360 $500,507,610 $393,905,264
Hong Kong$472,305,948$372,164,370 $514,898,330 $820,534,072 $396,839,632 $277,258,094 $249,755,099
Russia$452,672,436$367,869,017 $384,813,116 $547,405,802 $493,763,341 $287,971,343 $260,898,811
South Africa$424,903,895$340,822,912 $419,035,114 $358,757,697 $316,796,965 $355,014,635 $347,751,007
Belgium$422,690,668$424,218,565 $501,320,756 $487,213,240 $425,182,209 $519,143,654 $551,869,704
Chile$340,384,222$333,193,769 $450,474,201 $542,049,409 $561,806,314 $565,348,523 $508,257,551
France$331,053,464$339,312,859 $452,827,246 $475,504,945 $475,625,069 $469,148,794 $513,712,793
Spain$324,066,259$362,238,129 $427,691,210 $299,931,936 $253,018,729 $176,536,271 $156,688,730

Imports of auto parts to the United States

In 2017 the US imported over $140 billion in automotive parts. The 2017 trend was nearly flat compared to 2016, down only 0.01%. The top five countries sending auto parts into the US are Mexico, China, Canada, Japan and Germany. Here is a table showing the top 20 countries that are import partners to the US, along with the entire world, for the past seven years. The table includes both OEM and aftermarket auto parts and can be sorted and searched.

Table: Imports of Auto Parts to the US

Country2017201620152014201320122011
WORLD $141,058,315,212 $141,073,153,241 $143,619,557,462 $138,886,822,980 $126,495,144,435 $124,681,381,401 $109,517,896,022
Mexico $53,016,227,513 $52,723,347,556 $50,835,565,280 $47,051,466,131 $42,000,905,406 $38,932,070,449 $33,967,878,868
China $16,977,212,181 $16,826,111,013 $18,206,205,950 $18,071,195,940 $15,965,902,808 $14,663,080,661 $12,186,437,548
Canada $15,780,048,659 $16,517,768,966 $17,159,561,460 $17,644,710,935 $16,340,582,129 $16,928,479,252 $15,935,238,519
Japan $13,805,066,184 $13,346,659,302 $13,333,972,367 $14,496,699,670 $14,814,802,961 $17,083,496,396 $14,026,409,380
Germany $9,555,974,606 $9,629,860,912 $10,816,363,792 $10,320,540,131 $9,500,363,249 $9,360,044,011 $7,880,852,039
Korea $7,760,500,429 $8,647,528,369 $8,578,087,135 $8,322,954,879 $7,777,930,420 $7,650,941,329 $6,410,014,411
Thailand $3,097,842,490 $2,909,263,715 $2,500,306,759 $2,024,888,003 $1,808,884,855 $2,011,621,904 $2,115,233,724
Taiwan $3,021,620,160 $2,827,562,155 $2,989,337,704 $2,784,016,201 $2,552,243,436 $2,441,211,112 $2,273,388,441
India $1,362,193,113 $1,201,149,229 $1,349,583,308 $1,223,545,779 $967,307,583 $1,133,395,630 $1,032,641,175
United Kingdom $1,267,949,178 $1,147,152,620 $1,289,600,575 $1,361,115,108 $1,264,377,146 $1,106,553,512 $888,196,609
Vietnam $1,184,451,238 $910,617,006 $763,774,417 $625,499,560 $584,409,989 $537,971,835 $343,913,010
Indonesia $1,138,788,852 $1,207,836,011 $1,065,877,885 $842,222,398 $851,264,711 $835,782,201 $860,631,681
Austria $1,117,414,427 $1,103,693,691 $1,362,758,854 $1,363,906,969 $941,334,552 $973,738,543 $1,598,783,276
Brazil $1,084,542,407 $934,525,841 $1,024,230,283 $1,047,872,276 $1,107,097,721 $1,475,840,793 $1,534,285,675
Italy $1,061,848,728 $1,287,779,199 $1,581,512,837 $1,552,764,275 $1,087,879,064 $1,033,968,128 $900,839,215
Spain $849,644,131 $782,274,280 $1,035,771,323 $1,033,458,113 $896,645,710 $798,941,169 $450,609,784
Philippines $829,364,040 $823,581,457 $895,475,981 $762,029,903 $631,530,221 $562,877,540 $483,103,485
Czech Republic $824,103,523 $808,217,256 $859,877,977 $734,662,863 $669,726,462 $641,200,481 $534,593,139
France $806,108,660 $827,727,773 $830,086,673 $911,003,453 $872,523,422 $839,551,565 $1,067,697,340
Hungary $549,001,045 $589,240,145 $602,104,742 $595,189,145 $472,428,150 $435,276,918 $299,024,335

Exports of auto parts from the US by part type

This table shows the types of parts exported from the United States by year. It includes both OEM and aftermarket auto parts and shows the Harmonized System (HS) code for each part type. This table can be sorted and searched.

US Exports by Part Type

HS Code/Part Description201120122013201420152016
TOTAL: ALL PARTS$34,351,993,142$37,168,109,412$37,416,818,896$37,363,869,428$38,862,849,648$37,944,385,300
870810 Bumpers & Parts$493,538,294$522,688,854$523,408,697$600,134,575$584,316,771$602,758,293
870821 Safety Seat Belts$78,865,061$79,017,381$73,072,222$59,849,636$61,724,172$68,631,912
870829 Body Parts & Access$7,582,295,017$8,205,476,601$8,661,334,740$8,526,642,438$8,210,384,661$8,529,253,106
870830 Brakes & Parts$1,961,824,257$2,218,908,526$2,090,032,277$2,231,514,398$2,368,228,799$2,479,888,996
870840 Gear Boxes$4,990,756,761$5,165,350,928$6,001,638,126$5,998,300,199$6,035,160,148$6,379,708,627
870850 Drive Axles w/ Differentials$1,850,653,303$1,984,308,374$1,885,303,230$2,106,295,099$2,153,037,873$2,067,792,245
870870 Road Wheels & Access$970,833,345$1,124,498,247$1,185,429,798$1,215,594,590$1,030,989,460$832,071,446
870880 Suspension Shock Absorbers$1,859,776,857$2,053,881,522$2,108,664,044$2,103,764,054$2,270,230,920$2,092,620,007
870891 Radiators$490,331,339$584,165,547$524,875,825$491,727,767$467,038,305$422,296,544
870892 Mufflers & Exhaust Pipes$848,423,403$940,431,295$832,068,076$648,566,394$690,920,082$644,063,032
870893 Clutches & Parts$539,342,994$557,194,688$598,977,653$636,451,839$625,773,260$653,076,919
870894 Steering Wheels, Columns & Boxes$1,421,379,366$1,638,336,968$1,887,891,154$1,955,982,219$2,223,128,074$2,350,864,370
870895 Safety Airbags$987,556,828$1,118,403,140$1,142,954,991$1,189,689,734$1,284,496,599$1,399,185,762
870899 Other Parts & Accessories$10,276,416,317$10,975,447,341$9,901,168,063$9,599,356,486$10,857,420,524$9,422,174,041

More information on the aftermarket

If you’d like more information on the automotive aftermarket, including size of the aftermarket in the US, Canada, Mexico and other countries, read this post on the size of the automotive aftermarket.

Information sources for this article

United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division; Bureau of the Census USA Trade.