Infographic: The 15 Corporations That Make the Most Cars
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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 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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Energy

The Periodic Table of Commodity Returns (2012-2021)

Energy fuels led the way as commodity prices surged in 2021, with only precious metals providing negative returns.

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commodity returns 2021 preview

The Periodic Table of Commodity Returns (2022 Edition)

For investors, 2021 was a year in which nearly every asset class finished in the green, with commodities providing some of the best returns.

The S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) was the third best-performing asset class in 2021, returning 37.1% and beating out real estate and all major equity indices.

This graphic from U.S. Global Investors tracks individual commodity returns over the past decade, ranking them based on their individual performance each year.

Commodity Prices Surge in 2021

After a strong performance from commodities (metals especially) in the year prior, 2021 was all about energy commodities.

The top three performers for 2021 were energy fuels, with coal providing the single best annual return of any commodity over the past 10 years at 160.6%. According to U.S. Global Investors, coal was also the least volatile commodity of 2021, meaning investors had a smooth ride as the fossil fuel surged in price.

Commodity2021 Returns
Coal160.61%
Crude Oil55.01%
Gas46.91%
Aluminum42.18%
Zinc31.53%
Nickel26.14%
Copper25.70%
Corn22.57%
Wheat20.34%
Lead18.32%
Gold-3.64%
Platinum-9.64%
Silver-11.72%
Palladium-22.21%

Source: U.S. Global Investors

The only commodities in the red this year were precious metals, which failed to stay positive despite rising inflation across goods and asset prices. Gold and silver had returns of -3.6% and -11.7% respectively, with platinum returning -9.6% and palladium, the worst performing commodity of 2021, at -22.2%.

Aside from the precious metals, every other commodity managed double-digit positive returns, with four commodities (crude oil, coal, aluminum, and wheat) having their best single-year performances of the past decade.

Energy Commodities Outperform as the World Reopens

The partial resumption of travel and the reopening of businesses in 2021 were both powerful catalysts that fueled the price rise of energy commodities.

After crude oil’s dip into negative prices in April 2020, black gold had a strong comeback in 2021 as it returned 55.01% while being the most volatile commodity of the year.

Natural gas prices also rose significantly (46.91%), with the UK and Europe’s natural gas prices rising even more as supply constraints came up against the winter demand surge.

Energy commodity returns 2021

Despite being the second worst performer of 2020 with the clean energy transition on the horizon, coal was 2021’s best commodity.

High electricity demand saw coal return in style, especially in China which accounts for one-third of global coal consumption.

Base Metals Beat out Precious Metals

2021 was a tale of two metals, as precious metals and base metals had opposing returns.

Copper, nickel, zinc, aluminum, and lead, all essential for the clean energy transition, kept up last year’s positive returns as the EV batteries and renewable energy technologies caught investors’ attention.

Demand for these energy metals looks set to continue in 2022, with Tesla having already signed a $1.5 billion deal for 75,000 tonnes of nickel with Talon Metals.

Metals price performance 2021

On the other end of the spectrum, precious metals simply sunk like a rock last year.

Investors turned to equities, real estate, and even cryptocurrencies to preserve and grow their investments, rather than the traditionally favorable gold (-3.64%) and silver (-11.72%). Platinum and palladium also lagged behind other commodities, only returning -9.64% and -22.21% respectively.

Grains Bring Steady Gains

In a year of over and underperformers, grains kept up their steady track record and notched their fifth year in a row of positive returns.

Both corn and wheat provided double-digit returns, with corn reaching eight-year highs and wheat reaching prices not seen in over nine years. Overall, these two grains followed 2021’s trend of increasing food prices, as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index reached a 10-year high, rising by 17.8% over the course of the year.

Grains price performance 2021

As inflation across commodities, assets, and consumer goods surged in 2021, investors will now be keeping a sharp eye for a pullback in 2022. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the Fed’s plans to increase rates and taper asset purchases will manage to provide price stability in commodities.

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Technology

Apple’s Colossal Market Cap as it Hits $3 Trillion

Apple’s market cap recently hit $3 trillion. To put that scale into context, this visualization compares Apple to European indexes.

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apple 3 trillion market cap

Apple’s Colossal Market Cap in Context

In January of 2019, Apple’s market capitalization stood at $700 billion.

While this was perceived as a colossal figure at the time, when we fast forward to today, that valuation seems a lot more modest. Since then, Apple has surged to touch a $3 trillion valuation on January 3rd, 2022.

To gauge just how monstrous of a figure this is, consider that Apple is no longer comparable to just companies, but to countries and even entire stock indexes. This animation from James Eagle ranks the growth in Apple’s market cap alongside top indexes from the UK, France, and Germany.

Let’s take a closer look.

Apple Takes On Europe

The three indexes Apple is compared to are heavyweights in their own right.

The FTSE 100 consists of giants like HSBC and vaccine producer AstraZeneca, while the CAC 40 Index is home to LVMH, which made Bernard Arnault the richest man in the world for a period of time last year.

Nonetheless, Apple’s market cap exceeds that of the 100 companies in the FTSE, as well as the 40 in each of the CAC and DAX indexes.

Stock/IndexMarket Cap ($T)Country of Origin
Apple$3.00T🇺🇸
FTSE 100$2.90T🇬🇧
CAC 40 Index$2.76T🇫🇷
DAX 40 (Dax 30) Index*$2.50T🇩🇪

*Germany’s flagship DAX Index expanded from 30 to 40 constituents in September 2021.

It’s important to note, that while Apple’s growth is stellar, European companies have simultaneously seen a decline in their share of the overall global stock market, which helps make these comparisons even more eye-catching.

For example, before 2005, publicly-traded European companies represented almost 30% of global stock market capitalization, but those figures have been cut in half to just 15% today.

Here are some other approaches to measure Apple’s dominance.

Apple’s Revenue Per Minute vs Other Tech Giants

Stepping away from market capitalization, another unique way to measure Apple’s success is in how much sales they generate on a per minute basis. In doing so, we see that they generate a massive $848,090 per minute.

Here’s how Apple revenue per minute compares to other Big Tech giants:

CompanyRevenue Per Minute
Amazon$955,517
Apple$848,090
Alphabet (Google)$433,014
Microsoft$327,823
Facebook$213,628
Tesla$81,766
Netflix$50,566

Furthermore, Apple’s profits aren’t too shabby either: their $20.5 billion in net income last quarter equates to $156,000 in profits per minute.

How Apple Compares To Countries

Lastly, we can compare Apple’s market cap to the GDP of countries.

Country (excluding Apple)Total Value ($T)
Apple$3.0T
Italy$2.0T
Brazil$1.8T
Canada$1.7T
Russia$1.7T
South Korea$1.6T
Australia$1.4T
Spain$1.4T
Mexico$1.3T
Indonesia$1.1T

What might be most impressive here is that Apple’s market cap eclipses the GDP of major developed economies, such as Canada and Australia. That means the company is more valuable than the entire economic production of these countries in a calendar year.

That’s some serious scale.

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