I'd say that's definitely the case in North America, where car companies probably spend almost as much money the food industry to promote their products. But you are correct about the money-making aspect although I suppose you could argue many players lose out when you buy a 1$ frozen diner over the produce/meat and the resources needed (electricity/gas, pots/pans and appliances) to cook an actual meal. I think outside North America the phenomenon is less. Even I'm personally a bit surprised how dependent people are on vehicles. Anything under 30min walk (I'd even say 1h in some cases) I'd walk/bicycle unless I needed the car (time or cargo).