Worldwide car total: one billion in 2010
The auto industry turned out over 80 million cars globally in 2011, setting a new record.
The economic downturn couldn't stop the growing demand for cars in markets the world over, according to numbers from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
Much of that growth came from China, where 18.4 million vehicles were built last year; GCR notes a burgeoning Chinese middle class will likely push annual global vehicle production above 100 million before 2020, says GreenCarReports.
The next largest markets were the U.S. (8.6 million cars built) and Japan (8.4 million).
Ward's Autos calculated we hit one billion vehicles on the planet in early 2010, including trucks and buses.
While it took us almost 125 years (counting from the first vehicles made in 1885) to get there, the second billion will likely come a lot sooner.
In 2011, as well as in 2010 and 2009, the U.S. actually scrapped more vehicles than it sold. It's actually booming sales in China, India, Brazil and Russia that we can expect to push that total really high really quick.