Guide to Researching the Automobile Manufacturing Industry

Some great tools for Automobile Industry Research
Some great tools for Automobile Industry Research


The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the Automobile Manufacturing industry.  While not entirely comprehensive, this guide does list several of the key and highly recommended resources when analyzing the industry and researching the companies in the industry.  I’ve listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.

Video Tips

The videos linked below offer suggestions on using many of the resources found on this page.

How to find industry analysis and industry reports for the automobile industryHow to find industry analysis and industry reports for the automobile industry

If you are analyzing the automobile industry, you will want to look at several different resources to get a good understanding of the industry trends, outlook, and key issues. This video demonstrates how to find industry analysis information from sources such as Passport GMID, Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage, Mergent Online, and Onesource.


How to find stock reports for Ford, General Motors, and other companies in the automobile industryHow to find stock reports for Ford, General Motors, and other companies in the automobile industry

If you are analyzing companies such as Ford and General Motors in the automobile industry, you will definitely want to look at what analysts are saying about the companies. This video demonstrates how to find Standard & Poor’s Stock Reports, Mergent Equity Reports, Onesource Analyst Reports, Zack’s Equity Reports, and Value Line reports for companies in the automobile industry.


Plunkett Research

  • Plunkett Research has a section for Automobiles, where you can find Market Research and Statistics for the overall automobiles market.  This would be a good resource to look at to get a general overview and basic understanding of the industry.


  • IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of the industry.  A search for ‘automobile” yields a report for Car & Automobile Manufacturing.  IbisWorld also has, under the Business Environment section, a number of economic reports that could be very useful, such New Car Sales and Motor Vehicle Registrations.

First Research

  • First Research provides industry profiles on over 600 industry segments covering the competitive landscape, products, operations, technology finance, regulation, and more.
  • Simply search for “automobile” to get some excellent reports.

Passport GMID

  • Passport GMID has an excellent report titled “Motor Vehicles, Trailers, and Semi-Trailers.” that addresses industry growth, competitive environment, buyers, suppliers, bargaining power, and more.
  • Also be sure to Consumer Lifestyles section under the  “Countries and Consumers” tab.
  • Passport GMID also offers essential macroeconomic information that can be really useful in performing a PEST analysis.  This video shows you how to find information from GMID that addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries.  This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.

Mintel Oxygen

  • Mintel Oxygen is an excellent source for market research reports pertaining to this industry.  As an example, a search for “car” yields several relevant reports.
  • Also, click on the “Analyst Insight” link to find other relevant information on the automobile market.


  • OneSource is another fantastic resource for company and industry information.
  • It has company news,  financials, SWOT analyses, ratio comparisons, peer analysis, stock reports and more.
  • To find information on the Automobile Manufacturing Industry, simply search for the industry, or NAICS Code (336111) in the search box.  I prefer the Freedonia Reports when looking at the U.S. industry, and the BMI reports when looking at international markets.
  • For company info, simply search for your company.

S&P Net Advantage

  • S&P NetAdvantage  is a key tool to use when researching this industry.
  • S&P NetAdvantage has an industry report for the “Autos & Auto Parts” industry, which is updated every six months.
  • The industry reports can be very useful in performing a PEST analysis, particularly when addressing the “economic” area.   To find these reports, click on the Industry Tab in NetAvantage, then select the industry in the drop-down menu.  Be sure to look for the “downloadable company data” link on the left side of the page as well.
  • It has stock reports and company financials for major companies.
  • The Compustat Excel Analytics are great when analyzing companies.  This video shows you how to find them.

Mergent Online

Value Line

  • Value Line, while a print resource, is a good place to find one-page snapshots of companies.
  • The Value Line report is very similar to a stock report, and includes forecast information as well for each company
  • Ask for Value Line at the 2nd Floor Service Desk in Alden Library.


Zack’s Equity Research Reports

USA Autos Report

The USA Autos Report (found via Business Source Complete, below) is a great resource for looking at the overall industry.  You can find this and other similar reports in Business Source Complete.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I have it listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.  You will find Industry Profiles (search for Automobiles or your specific company), and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports.


LexisNexis Academic

  • LexisNexis is a great source for company or industry news, company profiles, legal cases, financials, family trees, accounting publications, law journals, and more.
  • This is an especially good resource when looking for legal issues facing companies in the industry.

 SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more.  Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report.  As an example, take a look at the 10-K for Ford and look at the Business and Risk Factors sections.  You will notice that Ford uses some of the same language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.  You might also look at similar 10-K’s for other companies in the industry.




Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides