Vehicle Identification Numbers are an international standard applied by large-scale automotive companies that hold World Manufacturer Identifier numbers; therefore, the volume of cars produced annually provides an approximation of the number of VINs assigned in a given year. More than 87 million vehicles were produced in 2014, according to StatisticBrain.com.
Small-scale manufactures of less than 500 vehicles per annum utilize a shared WMI, with identifying distinctions made at further positions in the VIN number. The total production of vehicles from small-scale manufacturers that conform to international standards impacts the number of VINs issued.
All standard vehicle serial numbers produced after 1981 are 17 characters. The first character represents the country code of the manufacturer, with the following two characters indicating the make and division. Each character in a Vehicle Identification Number has specific meaning related to the origin of the vehicle.