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The 15 Corporations That Make the Most Cars

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The 15 Corporations That Make the Most Cars

The 15 Corporations That Make the Most Cars

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

The auto industry is notoriously capital intensive.

As a company like Tesla has discovered over its relatively short history, the manufacturing processes required to make thousands of cars at scale are extremely costly and ridden with unexpected setbacks. To make matters worse the vehicle market is ultra competitive, with very little room for error.

Unless you have a game-changing innovation, powerful brand loyalty, or strong cost leadership, it’s easy to have your lunch eaten by competitors – or to get gobbled up in the industry’s next M&A transaction.

The Auto Landscape

Today’s infographic comes to us from Alan’s Factory Outlet, and it shows the 15 corporations that make the majority of the world’s cars.

Here are those corporations, sorted by annual revenue in U.S. dollars:

RankCorporationRevenue ($USD)
#1Volkswagen Group$265.7 billion
#2Toyota Motor Corp.$260.8 billion
#3Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi*$189.8 billion
#4Daimler AG$188.4 billion
#5Ford Motor Company$156.8 billion
#6General Motors$145.6 billion
#7Honda Motor Company Ltd.$139.4 billion
#8Bayerische Motoren Werke AG$112.9 billion
#9Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.$110.9 billion
#10Tata Group$100.4 billion
#11Hyundai Motor Group$85.9 billion
#12Peugeot S.A.$75.5 billion
#13Suzuki Motor Corp.$34.1 billion
#14Geely$14.8 billion
#15Tesla Inc.$11.8 billion
*Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is not technically one company, but an alliance

A select few of these companies, such as Tesla or Suzuki, make only one brand of car.

As seen in the graphic, however, the majority of these corporations are actually conglomerates with multiple brands falling under one parent company. These brands are either created strategically by the parent company to target new markets, or they are the result of mergers and acquisitions.

Corporate Family Trees

Here are how these additional brands get added or adopted into each corporate family tree:

1. Filling a Strategic Need
In the 1960s and 1970s, Japanese autos started flooding the North American market – and by 1975, Toyota was the top imported brand in the United States. While Japanese automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were able to capture market share, at this time they still did not have the reputation they had today.

That’s why, almost simultaneously, these same major Japanese automakers launched separate luxury brands to tap into new market segments. In a short span, Acura (1986), Infiniti (1989) and Lexus (1989) were all founded to gain a foothold in the growing luxury market, with large amounts of success.

2. Changing Hands
Rather than start a brand from scratch, big automakers can also dip into their financial resources to acquire a brand that suits their strategic needs. A good example of this is India’s Tata Motors, a company that was expanding rather aggressively in the 2000s.

Tata Motors purchased the Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary from Ford in 2008, and now owns these well-known British luxury brands.

3. A Good Old-Fashioned Merger
In the last 20 years, Chrysler has been a part of two massive mergers. The first one with Germany’s Daimler Benz happened in 1998, and fell apart because of cultural differences between the companies.

The second merger was a little more one-sided: in 2009, Italian company Fiat moved in to take control of Chrysler after the latter’s bankruptcy. The union is still together today.

4. Staying Alive
After Kia Motors filed for bankruptcy in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis, a fellow South Korean automaker came to the rescue. Hyundai outbid Ford to grab a 51% stake in the company – and while that stake is less now for various reasons, the two brands are still tied at the hip today.

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