How Much Does It Cost to Manufacture a Car?

The automobile sector is one of the most expensive types of factories in the world. In this sector, when a car is built, it is followed by a lot of labor, cost, and materials – such as metal, glass, machinery, auto parts, etc. So the question is how much does it cost to manufacture a car?

In fact, it is not possible to say the exact cost of an outsider except for the factory owner and those involved in making the car. However, considering the characteristics and type of vehicle, various parts and raw material prices, labor, research and development (R & D), etc., we can get an idea.

In this article, we are going to find out how much it costs to build a car, what are the reasons behind the high price of the car, how the manufacturers determine the price of the car, and how much it costs to manufacture different cars depending on the company. So stay with us.

What Are the Types of Car Manufacturing Costs?

Each car comes on the market at different prices because the size and configuration of each are different. Car manufacturers will never disclose the actual production cost of a car to the public. 

However, research has shown that the total production cost of a car depends on two factors, one is the fixed cost and the other is the variable cost. Below we are going to discuss these two costs.

1. Fixed Costs

No matter how many cars an auto company makes, there are fixed costs behind each car. R & D is one of them. Whenever a company goes to make a new model car, R & D and thorough testing are mandatory and obligatory no matter how long it takes.

There are also some fixed costs such as retraining staff, preparing and testing prototypes, maintaining facilities, finding suppliers, adding new equipment and technology, etc. The mentioned costs for each vehicle must be borne by an auto company.

2. Variable Costs

In contrast, variable costs depend entirely on the volume of the vehicle because different vehicle sizes and configurations are different. These types of costs vary with the car’s output. 

For example, when an auto company decides to increase production, the number of workers and the cost of raw materials will also increase. Again if the company wants to reduce production then all these costs will be reduced. 

Also, the prices of all the parts for car products such as aluminum, steel, plastic, rubber, etc. increase and decrease over time. Auto companies determine the price of a car based on the market price of these materials. Therefore, variable cost is a very important issue for them.

What Are the Factors That Affect the Manufacturing of a Car?

When an auto company spends on building a car, it has to invest in several sectors. However, here we are going to find out what factors influence the manufacturing of a car.

Research and Development

An auto company does a lot of research before manufacturing a new model. This research is very labor-intensive and requires a lot of time. A lot of money is invested in this sector for the overall development of the car.


There is no comparison of manpower in any big project. Their tireless work and intelligence work behind the overall improvement of a company. That is why the manpower sector is a significant investment destination for every auto company.

Logistic Costs

Logistics costs mean transportation of raw materials and warehousing. In a word, logistics costs include the cost of transporting materials from supplier to factory. This sector has a significant impact on the production cost of a car.

Auto Parts and Raw Materials

One of the significant spending sectors of an auto company is raw materials and auto parts. These are an integral part of a car. When companies determine the price of a car, the market value of these materials affects that price.

Energy Consumption

Driving a car requires some kind of energy which includes fuel, water, electricity, etc. These powers are essential for the smooth running of the car. The rising and falling market prices of fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel, CNG, etc. also affect the production cost of the vehicle.

Packaging and Shipping Costs

When a car’s raw material is purchased, a good amount of money is spent to bring it from one place to the manufacturer. Again, to get a manufactured car on the market it has to be well packaged which is a part of the cost.

Advertising Sector

The more publicity that can be had in any business, the more expansion there will be. Once a car is built, the company has to advertise it to the public. 

Of course, the advertising sector is very expensive most of the time, yet it carries a lot of importance. This is because it increases both sales and profits.

Sales Tax

The tax that the government has to pay when selling a car is also included in the production cost of the car. Since the amount of tax determines the final price, it is quite important.

Cost of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases are a big problem for the environment and auto companies are one of the major producers. Although the sector depends on the region, auto owners have to spend to avoid producing extra greenhouse gases from their factories.

In addition to these factors, other factors such as cost of equipment, storage of raw materials, location of factories, loans, and marketing, also affect the cost of production of vehicles. Due to these facts, the price difference between the manufacturer and the consumer varies significantly.

How to Calculate the Manufacturing Cost of a Car?

Now let us know how to calculate the production cost of a car. We will present an approximate calculation here so that you can make an average calculation of almost every car. 

Suppose a car’s sticker price is $65,000. The owner of the car revealed to the public that its production cost was about $39,000. So 40% of the sticker value, or $26,000, is the company’s dividend and the remaining 60% is the actual manufacturing cost. 

So you can get an idea from here that 60% of the total sticker value of a car is its production cost. Now you can easily calculate the production cost of almost all the vehicles.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Car Company?

If you are thinking of starting a car company, you need to get on the field with a minimum of 10 billion dollars. This is not the end, because, with this money, you can only set up the business and factory and buy parts. Then you have to add marketing costs which are much bigger in number. 

On the other hand, if your budget is low, about 1 million, then you can start a business like car customization. In this case, your job will be to modify and customize the engine or body of the old car and give it a new look. 

This way you will have a healthy amount of profit even if you get less annual production. If you really want to start a car company, it is best to go through a process. For example, first a car garage or repair shop, then save some money and make a bigger investment, and finally start a business like car customization.

Cost of Manufacturing Cars for Different Companies

Now let’s find out how much it costs some famous companies to manufacture their cars.


Ferrari’s regular model cars cost around $200,000 while the classics go up to $350,000. The company spends about $ 120,000 to $ 150,000 on the production of a Ferrari car. That means their minimum dividend per car is $80,000.


Let’s give an example with a truck model F-150 of the Ford company. Its sticker price is $50,000. They said it cost them $27,000 to manufacture the truck. So according to their commentary, they’re making about $13,000 per F-150.


Tesla differs from other competitors in that it produces electric cars. A study found that the Tesla Model 3 costs $28,000 to produce. Half of the cost is spent on materials and labor. if like to learn more about Tesla, visit


The Toyota company always tries to figure out how to use high-quality components on a low budget. They make at least $2,500 on a $5,000 worth of cars. The company invested about $12,000 to manufacture the popular Toyota Corolla model.


In this article, we have tried to give you an idea of the cost of building a car. Because we will never know the exact amount of costs. Auto companies do not disclose actual production costs. 

However, you can get a clear idea of the cost of production by calculating the number of parts, features, and labor used in the car. Keep in mind, however, that prices vary depending on the type, size of the vehicle, and the company.

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