Global motorsports industry generated nearly $190 billion in 2019

19 July 2021 3 min. read
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The global motorsports industry generated $187.92 billion of business in the world economy, according to a recent report from EY-Parthenon commissioned by The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The FIA – which governs world motorsports including touring, sportscar, drag racing, and rallycar events – enlisted the strategy consultancy to create the first-of-its kind report, which digs into the economic contribution and employment figures for the motorsports industry. EY-Parthenon’s report did not examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry, instead opting to use 2019 as the analysis year.

As part of its research, EY-Parthenon drew on over 20,000 surveys, existing data sources from the FIA, and consultation with industry stakeholders.

The research found that 2.7 million participants took part in over 60,000 events utilizing 7,200 tracks in 2019. The industry has grown by approximately 90% in terms of direct, gross output since 2007 – from $36.6 billion to $79 billion.

Combining Direct and Indirect Gross Output and Value Add in 2019

The direct, gross output economic contribution of $79 billion represents the economic activity directly generated by the industry, including that of motorsport participants, governing bodies, local sports clubs, facilities, tracks and circuits, events, professional teams, and auto-related industries. Gross output refers to the value of goods and services produced by the industry after accounting for intra-industry sales.

Direct value-add contribution in 2019 was $37.2 billion, representing the value of goods and services produced by motorsports after deducting the cost of goods and services used. This equates to the marginal economic value generated by motorsports, and is the most appropriate measure of its relative contribution to the economy.

The report then quantified the industry’s total contribution to the economy, including flow-on effects to other industries and consumption of people employed in the motorsports industry. For example, the wages spent by employees of a restaurant that had attendees from an F1 event would factor into indirect output.


The figure for indirect gross output was tagged at $117.3 billion, while indirect value-add was $49.5 billion. Together, direct and indirect gross output represented $187.92 billion in 2019.

As for employment, the industry had 1,500,000 total paid jobs. There were 576,000 direct paid jobs representing people employed as an immediate result of the $79 billion in direct output. Sixty-three percent of direct jobs were in services, 24% in advanced manufacturing and engineering, and 13% in other manufacturing.

There were a further 924,000 indirect jobs from flow-on expenditure on motorsport and non-motorsport related goods and services.

The industry in 2019 also had 302,000 unpaid formal officials, marshals, and volunteers.

“This report reveals that motor sport industry represents 160 billion euros total annual gross output and 1.5 million total paid jobs,” Jean Todt, FIA president, said. “This is remarkable and it demonstrates that our sport efficiently contributes to the rebound of the economy in Covid-19 times.”