If you are a business working globally rather than in a specific country, or working in some other country than the countries covered by my standard car databases, you may be looking for a global car database.
But… this is not really possible. Car specifications vary depending by country of sale for models having same name, and for accuracy reasons, a car database should be specific to cars SOLD in one country, or with some compromise of quality, to one continent.
Over years I gained reputation for providing most accurate and complete databases, because I offer separate car database for each market of sale, containing ALL and ONLY car models sold locally and data is formatted according tastes of local people. Car Models & Engines Database collect data from European car dealers while Year-Make-Model-Trim-Specs collect data from American car dealers.
Some people asked “I need a database containing European cars (BMW, Skoda, etc) and Japanese cars (Nissan, Toyota, etc), we have all them in Brazil“. You CANNOT buy a single database of “cars made in Japan” because they vary depending by market of sale.
Example: Toyota sold the following models in calendar year 2015 / US MY 2016:
- In United States: 4Runner, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius c, Prius v, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris.
- In Europe: Auris, Avensis, Aygo, Corolla, GT86, Hilux, iQ, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, Prius+, RAV4, Urban Cruiser, Verso, Verso-S, Yaris.
- In Australia: 86, Aurion, Camry, Corolla, FJ Cruiser, Fortuner, Hiace, Hilux, Kluger, Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado, Prius, Prius C, Prius V, RAV4, Rukus, Tarago, Yaris.
- In India: Camry, Corolla, Etios, Fortuner, Innova, Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado, Prius.
- In whatever other country: possible other models.
Furthermore, there are several distinct cars named Toyota Corolla E120 (2000-2007):
- Corolla sold in Europe is offered in hatchback, saloon, estate versions, with engines 1.4 (97 PS), 1.6 (110 PS), 1.8 turbo (192, 224 PS), 1.4 diesel (90 PS), 2.0 diesel (90, 110, 116 PS).
- Corolla sold in North America is offered only in saloon version, with engines 1.8 (130, later 126 PS) and 1.8 turbo (170, later 164 PS).
- Corolla sold in Australia is offered in hatchback, saloon, estate versions, with engines 1.8 (136, later 126 PS) and 1.8 turbo (192 PS).
- Another Corolla is sold in Japanese domestic market with narrower body to comply with compact size tax regulation.
- Additional different-specs Corollas are sold in Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc.
The ONLY type of database that CAN cover multiple markets (without risking accuracy) are Car Models List and Car Nameplates List, this was possible because these two do not contain engines, dimensions or any other specifications, but just model naming and production years.
A couple of customers choose to purchase multiple databases from me. I did not asked everyone how they use data, but I advise you to make separate sections on your website for each region. Do not mix up my multiple car databases, or you will end up in a mess that will displease any customer.
There are several websites like www.carfolio.com having worldwide cars, which I could make a script to scrap data and create an Excel database, but I do not do this because data quality will be a disaster.
There are also data providers like www.carqueryapi.com selling apparently a worldwide database but you should be careful in purchasing from them because their database is not complete for any given market. Some of my happy customers informed me that bought previously CarQueryAPI and had a major disappointment, missing models even from American and European markets, new models are added with delay of few years after they been launched, some model names are lowercase while others uppercase, certain values missing for random cars, etc. They bought from me afterwards and turned happy. Sadly, there are also people coming on my website and chatting with me then buying from CarQueryAPI just because is cheaper or website is simpler… stupid people who take cheap price over quality!
Model year (America) vs production year (rest of world)
North American car market is tightly regulated by government, all car models sold here are organized by Model Years. Most important, two successive models DO NOT share same Model Year (with few exceptions). Traditionally car models launched in second half of year are considered Model Year of next year, but legally manufacturers are allowed to launch “2017 Model” starting from 2 January 2016. Every year, they launch the “next year model”, even if the car is unchanged from previous year. New trims also appear in middle of model year.
Europe (and rest of world) do not have officially a car model year system, the year of a particular car is used only informally, and it’s the calendar year. So a car model launched in December 2016 is still a 2016 model. European car websites should show Make – Model – production years (as a range, no individual years).
I have seen some cheap-made websites targeting Europe but using drop-down vehicle list with each year on separate row, but since Europe do not have regulated Model Year, they used each calendar year in which a car has been manufactured. This is WRONG and leads to errors and confusion, in the year of model replacement, their list include both old and new models or just one of them at random.
Check yourself ebay.com/motors and ebay.co.uk/motors, see the difference? This makes combination virtually impossible, unless you adapt American database to European / rest of world format, which is not on the taste of American customers.
Americans doing their business in Europe or worldwide, argued with me saying that my European database is WRONG. Actually it is CORRECT for us. Me too, I considered the american system strange and wrong, until 2013.
More differences between Europe and America markets
From 1970s to 1990s many European and Japanese models sold in US had bigger bumpers, getting few extra inches in length compared with same models sold in rest of world.
Models are sold in US with less engine choices, usually top of range. Example: the 2007-2012 BMW 3-Series E90 have versions 328i, 335i, 335d, M3, while in Europe the versions are 318i, 320i, 325i, 330i, 335i, 316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d, 335d, M3.
Sometimes US engines do not exist in rest of world. Example: VW Golf 6 is sold in US with a 2.5 liters 5 cylinders 170 PS engine which do not exists in Europe where all engines are 4 cylinders, ranging from 1.4 to 2.0 liters turbo, 80 – 200 PS.
US measure horsepower according SAE rules, usually getting slightly higher power than measured in European DIN standard.
US EPA measure fuel efficiency as miles per gallon, Europe measure in liters per 100 km. Conversion is theoretically possible, but due to different testing procedure, any given car tested in US will eat 10-20% more gas than when tested in Europe, making comparison difficult. Read more: fuel economy testing procedure.
Don’t trust any database claiming to be 100% complete worldwide!
European car market is 99%+ similar within European Union except United Kingdom and Ireland, and 90-95% similar for all 50 European countries. Eastern Europe have few additional cars produced locally, plus Russia gets few additional Asian cars which are not available in Western Europe, all them being included in my European database. United Kingdom car market is different by having less cars available, because not every manufacturer bother to produce cars in right-hand drive, also UK produce few additional cars sold only locally, again included in my European database.
Asia, Africa and Latin America car markets may be 60-80% similar with European market. If you do not have other options and don’t care about accuracy, buy European Database and tell me what other cars are available in your country, eventually delete the excess cars that are not sold in your country.
North American car market is unique. Most vehicles sold in US & Canada are not sold anywhere else. Many vehicles are sold with different specs in Europe and US even if they wear same name.
I offer Car Models List Worldwide including all models sold in Europe and North America and models sold in local market of non EU/US manufacturers, such as Japanese domestic market for Japan manufacturers (after a big effort in 2014). However it will be NEVER complete for all of the 200+ countries in the world, it DO NOT include cars manufactured in a given country and sold somewhere else but not in Europe, USA, neither in their own country’s market.
If do you need a worldwide database more detailed than a simple Make / Model list, things get very… COMPLEX. Car specs vary from one market to another. NOBODY can make a worldwide / global vehicle database for every 200+ countries in the world, at a reasonable accuracy.
The problem is that Japan and South Korea export SAME cars under dozens of different names in various countries. If this was not worse enough, same name is sometimes used in multiple countries for unrelated cars. For example: the Samsung SM3 produced in Korea is also sold in Mexico as Renault Scala and in Russia as Nissan Almera, unrelated with the well-known Japanese Nissan Almera sold all over Europe until 2007. This Russian Almera and its years (and dozens of other similar name changes) are NOT included in Car Models List. Ford do the same, see Ford Escort (Europe) and Ford Escort (North America).
People outside Europe and America have trouble finding a database suitable for their country
I got a customer from Arab world saying “I am looking for a car database that contains Nissan Patrol because most database I’ve seen miss it” this happens because most databases available online are for US market and Nissan Patrol is not sold there, my European database does contain Nissan Patrol, but won’t help him either, because Nissan sell in Middle East also Altima which do not exist in European database but exist in American database.
Other customers asked me “if my database contain certain Asian cars that are missing from most car databases” and refused to purchase my European database because they are not containing there as well. Indeed, I do not recommend customers outside Europe and America to buy from me, but I am curious… what alternatives you can buy?