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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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Automotive

Visualizing EV Sales Around the World

With global sales hitting new milestones and adoption rates rising, are electric vehicles now becoming a mainstream option for drivers around the world?

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electric vehicle sales

It took five years to sell the first million electric cars. In 2018, it took only six months.

The Tesla Model 3 also passed a significant milestone in 2018, becoming the first electric vehicle (EV) to crack the 100,000 sales mark in a single year. The Nissan LEAF and BAIC EC-Series are both likely to surpass the 100,000 this year as well.

Although the electric vehicle market didn’t grow as fast as some experts initially projected, it appears that EV sales are finally hitting their stride around the world. Below are the countries where electric vehicles are a biggest part of the sales mix.

Electric vehicle sales

The EV Capital of the World

Norway, after amassing a fortune through oil and gas extraction, made the conscious decision to create incentives for its citizens to purchase electric vehicles. As a result, the country is the undisputed leader in EV adoption.

In 2018, a one-third of all passenger vehicles were fully electric, and that percentage is only expected to increase in the near future. The Norwegian government has even set the ambitious target of requiring all new cars to be zero-emission by 2025.

That enthusiasm for EVs is spilling over to other countries in the region, which are also seeing a high percentage of EV sales. However, the five countries in which EVs are the most popular – Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Netherlands, and Finland – only account for 0.5% of the world’s population. For EV adoption to make any real impact on global emissions, drivers in high-growth/high–population countries will need to opt for electric powered vehicles. (Of course power grids will need to get greener as well, but that’s another topic.)

China’s Supercharged Impact

One large economy that is embracing plug-in vehicles is China.

The country leads the world in electric vehicle sales, with over a million new vehicles hitting the roads in 2018. Last year, more EVs were sold in Shenzhen and Shanghai than any country in the world, with the exception of the United States.

China also leads the world in another important metric – charging stations. Not only does China have the highest volume of chargers, many of them allow drivers to charge up faster.

Electric vehicle charging stations

Accelerating from the Slow Lane

In the United States, electric vehicle sales are rising, but they still tend to be highly concentrated in specific areas. In around half of states, EVs account for fewer than 1% of vehicle sales. On the other hand, California is approaching the 10% mark, a significant milestone for the most populous state.

Nationally, EV sales increased throughout 2018, with December registering nearly double the sales volume of the same month in 2017. Part of this surge in sales is driven by the Tesla’s Model 3, which led the market in the last quarter of 2018.

U.S. Electric vehicle sales

North of the border, in Canada, the situation is similar. EV sales are increasing, but not fast enough to meet targets set by the government. Canada aimed to have half a million EVs on the road by 2018, but missed that target by around 400,000 vehicles.

The big question now is whether the recent surge in sales is a temporary trend driven by government subsidies and showmanship of Elon Musk, or whether EVs are now becoming a mainstream option for drivers around the world.

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Automotive

How Much Copper is in an Electric Vehicle?

Have you ever wondered how much copper is in an electric vehicle? This infographic shows the metal’s properties as well as the quantity of copper used.

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How Much Copper is in an Electric Vehicle?

Copper’s special relationship with electricity has been apparent since ship designers first regularly began installing copper to protect the masts of wooden ships from lightning in the early 19th century.

Today, of course, you might be more used to seeing copper’s electrical applications through the use of power lines, telephone wires, and wiring in practically every major home appliance you own.

Millions of tons get used for these applications every year, but it is still early days for copper’s use in electrification. That’s because copper will continue to be a critical component of the green energy revolution, thanks to the rising adoption of battery-powered vehicles.

Why Copper?

Today’s visualization comes to us from Canadian Platinum Corp., and it focuses on showing how much copper is in an electric vehicle, along with the properties that make it the ideal choice for an EV-powered future.

Here is why copper is a crucial component to vehicle manufacturers:

Cost
Copper costs roughly $0.20 per ounce, compared to silver ($15/oz) and gold ($1200/oz), making it by far the cheapest option for electrical wire.

Conductivity:
Copper is nearly as conductive as silver – the most conductive metal – but comes at a fraction of the cost.

Ductility:
Copper can easily be shaped into wire, which is important for most electrical applications.

It’s also important to note that temperature does not affect copper’s conductivity, which makes the metal ideal for automobiles in all climates.

Copper in Gas vs. Electric Vehicles

The UBS Evidence Lab tore apart a traditional gas-powered vehicle as well as an EV to compare the different quantities of raw materials used.

What they found was crucial: there is 80% more copper in a Chevrolet Bolt, in comparison to a similar-sized Volkswagen Golf.

The major reason for this is that at the heart of every EV is an electric motor, which is built with copper, steel, and permanent magnets (rare earths). Electric motors tend to be much simpler than gas-powered engines, which have hundreds of moving parts.

Incredibly, in an electric motor, there can be more than a mile of copper wiring inside the stator.

The More Electric, the More Copper

According to Copper.org, along the scale from gas-powered cars to fully electrical vehicles, copper use increases dramatically.

Conventional gas-powered cars contain 18 to 49 lbs. of copper while a battery-powered EV contains 183 lbs. Meanwhile, for a fully electrical bus, a whopping 814 lbs. of copper is needed.

With the rapidly increasing adoption of electric vehicles, copper will be an essential material for the coming electrification of all forms of ground transport.

Copper is at the heart of the electric vehicle and the world will need more. By 2027, copper demand stemming from EVs is expected to increase by 1.7 million tonnes, which is a number just shy of China’s entire copper production in 2017.

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