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Visualized: How Much Revenue Automakers Generate Every Second

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How Much Revenue Automakers Generate Every Second

How Much Revenue Automakers Generate Every Second

Since their invention, automobiles have been a driving force of the global economy.

Used by millions of people to get to work, transport goods, and travel, the modern automobile has become ubiquitous in our daily lives. So much so, that a whopping 92 million cars were produced in just 2019.

To help us understand the might of the auto industry, this infographic from Parts Geek breaks down the earnings of 19 major car companies by an interesting metric—revenue per second.

The Full List of Automakers

Below are the earnings of the 19 automakers featured in the infographic.

The Volkswagen Group claims the top spot with $290.2B in gross revenue, translating to $9,202.88 per second. Capping off the list is the world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla, which generated a relatively smaller $24.6B in gross revenue, or $780.06 per second.

Automaker2019 Gross Revenue ($)2019 Gross Revenue per Second ($)
Volkswagen$290.2B$9,202.88
Toyota$272.3B$8,634.58
Ford$156.0B$4,946.73
Honda$143.1B$4,537.67
General Motors$137.2B$4,351.76
Fiat Chrysler$121.6B$3,856.10
BMW$116.9B$3,708.89
Mercedes-Benz (Daimler)$104.6B$3,316.84
Nissan$92.0B$2,918.81
Hyundai$90.8B$2,879.25
PSA Group$84.0B$2,664.17
Renault$62.4B$1,979.84
Kia$50.0B$1,585.49
Geely$45.9B$1,457.70
Tata Motors$43.7B$1,385.72
Suzuki$34.8B$1,104.86
Mazda$32.1B$1,017.88
Subaru$28.5B$904.05
Tesla$24.6B$780.06

A clear takeaway from this data is that Volkswagen and Toyota have a sizable lead over the rest of their peers. Let’s take a closer look at how these two companies operate.

The Volkswagen Group

The Volkswagen Group holds a comprehensive portfolio of brands and services, and has been the world’s largest automaker, by sales, for the past three years.

Beginning with passenger cars and motorcycles, its numerous brands reported the following results for 2019.

BrandVehicle SalesSales Revenue* ($)Average Revenue per Vehicle ($)
Volkswagen 3,677,000$99.1B$26,960
Audi (includes Lamborghini and Ducatti) 1,200,000$62.4B$52,028
ŠKODA1,062,000$22.2B$20,912
SEAT667,000$12.9B$19,326
Porsche 277,000$29.2B$105,491
Bentley12,000$2.3B$195,480

*Based on an exchange rate of 1.12 EUR/USD (Dec. 31, 2019)
Source: Volkswagen

Other sources of revenue were Volkswagen’s $44.5B commercial vehicle business, its $4.7B power engineering business, and lastly its $44.4B financial services division.

In total, the Volkswagen Group delivered just short of 11 million vehicles in 2019, besting its 2018 deliveries by 1.3% and setting a new record for the group. While a majority of these vehicles were produced in Europe, the group operates a global production network with a significant presence in Asia.

RegionNumber of locationsShare of total production
Europe36 49%
Asia 19 38%
South America65%
North America47%
Africa41%

Source: Volkswagen

The German automaker has invested billions in China, the world’s largest car market, to scale its electric vehicle (EV) production capabilities.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota Motor Corporation operates a much more concentrated brand portfolio, with Toyota and Lexus being its two most prominent names. This strategy seems to be working well, as Toyota was ranked the ninth most valuable brand in 2019, and was the only automaker to crack the top ten.

A testament to Toyota’s global influence is its relatively balanced breakdown of 2019 revenues by regional market:

  • North America: 30%
  • Japan: 25%
  • Asia: 18%
  • Europe: 11.5%
  • Other: 15.3%

For comparison, here is Volkswagen’s 2019 revenues by region, which leans heavily towards Europe:

  • Europe (excl. Germany): 42%
  • Germany: 19%
  • North America: 17%
  • South America: 4%
  • Asia-Pacific: 17%

The Japanese automaker’s popularity in foreign regions is likely the result of its reputation for reliability and affordability. It may also explain why Toyota’s trucks are a common sight in tough environments such as conflict zones of the developing world.

Altogether, Toyota and its subsidiaries sold nearly 9 million vehicles in 2019, setting a new record for the company but just 0.1% higher than its 2018 figure. Similar to Volkswagen, a majority of Toyota’s vehicles are produced in its home region, with the remainder being built around the world.

RegionShare of total production
Japan50%
North America20%
Asia17%
Europe 8%
Other 5%

Source: Toyota

Outside of Japan, Toyota has significant production capabilities in the U.S., where it makes everything from pickup trucks to sedans. In 2016, the Toyota Camry made headlines after being ranked the most American-made car—over 75% of its parts were sourced domestically.

Alternative Revenue Sources

While automobiles represent the core business for these companies, many of them have alternative revenue sources. Honda, for example, produces motorcycles, boat engines, lawn mowers, and even personal jets.

Porsche takes a slightly different approach with its accessories and licensing subsidiary, Porsche Design. Since 2003, a variety of lifestyle goods including eyewear, smartphones, and watches have been sold under the Porsche name. Its most noteworthy project is the Porsche Design Tower Miami, a residential skyscraper which features a robotic car elevator.

Finally, electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla earns additional revenues by selling carbon credits to other automakers that fail to meet government-imposed quotas on EV sales. Since Tesla only produces EVs, it has no need for its credits and is free to sell them. In the second quarter of 2020, Tesla earned $428 million from selling carbon credits, representing 7% of its total revenues for the period.

The Road Ahead

Additional revenue streams are continuing to open up as automakers integrate new technologies into their cars.

Cadillac and Tesla, two American brands, have both announced that their self-driving capabilities will eventually become a paid subscription service. Meanwhile, Germany’s premium automakers are expanding into wireless services. BMW claims it will become the first automaker to offer 5G connectivity in its cars, while Mercedes now sells downloadable software packages to enhance a driver’s experience.

While it’s too early to say whether or not these services will have a significant impact on an automaker’s bottom line, forecasts claim this so-called “connected car market” will be worth $166 billion by 2025. To put that into perspective, that’s more than half of Volkswagen’s gross revenue in 2019, or $5,264 per second.

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Misc

Almost Every EV Stock is Down After Q1 2024

We compiled the performance of 10 pure play EV stocks into one chart, revealing one company that bucked the broader trend.

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Almost Every EV Stock is Down After Q1 2024

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

While the S&P 500 index climbed over 10% in Q1 2024, the majority of EV stocks declined by double digit percentages over the period.

This is surprising, given that EVs were once the hottest trend in tech (before artificial intelligence came around).

In this graphic, we’ve visualized the Q1 2024 performance of 10 prominent pure play EV companies. Pure play in this context means companies that only focus on electric vehicles.

EV Stock Performance

The data we used to create this graphic can be found in the table below. Note the two biggest outliers: Nikola (+24.9%) and Fisker (-98.7%).

CompanyQ1 Price Change (%)
Nikola+24.9
Li Auto-12.5
Tesla-29.2
VinFast-29.5
Polestar-30.3
Lucid-31.3
XPeng-45.3
Nio-46.6
Rivian-48.1
Fisker-98.7

The majority of EV stocks have fallen due to slowing demand in major markets like the U.S. and China. This is a serious problem for startups like Rivian and Lucid, which are not yet profitable.

In fact, legacy automakers like Ford are looking to expand production of hybrid vehicles, which is likely causing many investors to avoid pure EV stocks.

Two Outliers Emerge

Nikola shares have rallied in recent weeks as the company reported positive momentum in its hydrogen fuel cell truck business. The company also opened its first hydrogen refueling station in Southern California, and has five more in the works.

On the flipside, Fisker Inc. has struggled enormously, even being delisted from the NYSE in late March 2024. Fisker Inc. is the successor to Fisker Automotive, which went bankrupt in 2013. Fisker Automotive was known for producing the Karma, a luxury EV sedan that competed with the Tesla Model S.

Back to today’s Fisker, the company is once again in hot water. Over 40,000 customers have cancelled reservations for the company’s “Ocean” electric SUV, which is currently under investigation for door malfunctions.

Other Major EV Developments

In other news, Tesla is once again the world’s best-selling EV company, after outselling China’s BYD by 87,000 units in Q1 2024.

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