The auto industry has mostly been a safe and stable investment opportunity for much of the last century. Most automakers offered steady growth and any investor was almost guaranteed to see a heftier sum returned. This all changed when Tesla (and other such innovative companies) arrived in the market. Tesla’s share price in 2010 was a mere $3,84, while Ford’s stood at $11.64. By contrast, Tesla’s current share price is at $626.16 and Ford’s stands at $12.42 (all share prices correct at the time of writing). This kind of volatile market has not been seen since Henry Ford started mass-producing his Model T.
Tesla is not the only company to shake things up. Rivian, the electric truck and SUV manufacturerproduced just 920 cars in 2021 yet the company’s value is on par with Ferrari. An electric start-up that has only been in the public eye for a few years is as valuable as a supercar marque established in 1939!
This sort of exponential financial growth is troubling for well-established companies that are too slow to keep up with the times. Fortunately for them, most have already produced their own electric or alternatively fueled cars, which means they will be around for some time yet. Here are 10 of the currently most valuable car companies on the planet.
10 Honda ($42 Billion)
The Honda Motor Company was founded in 1948 and produces automobiles, motorbikes, and power equipment. In 1959, Honda claimed the title of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and has held on to it since. Thanks to this title and being the second-largest automobile manufacturer in Japan, Honda has achieved a market value of around $42 billion, making it the 10th most valuable automotive company on the planet.
Honda is a great company that experiments in various other markets, including boat engines, android robots (such as ASIMO), and even private jet airplanes. Honda was the first company to establish a luxury division separate from the main company, Acura – a trend that many other automakers followed with great success.
9 Starring ($45 Billion)
Stellantis was formed in 2021 and is the parent company of many auto manufacturers across the world. The conglomerate was the result of the merger of the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As of 2022, Stella manages Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, RAM, and Vauxhall – as well as the sub-brands Fiat Professional, DS Automobiles, and Mopar.
The Star is currently the 5th largest automobile manufacturer in the world, just behind Toyota, VW, Hyundai, and GM. Across all brands, Stellantis produced more than 6 million vehicles worldwide, which equated to a market value of about $45 billion. This is on the lower end; however, with all the brands still getting used to the new management, this value is expected to increase over the coming years.
8 Ford ($50 Billion)
The Ford Motor Company has been around since 1903 and is currently the second most valuable of the US ‘Big Three’. Ford is the parent company of multiple subsidiaries across the world and produced around 2 million cars in 2021. This number would be higher, but Ford was/is one of the companies which was hit the hardest in the semiconductor shortage, with production issues still ongoing .
As of May 2022, Ford stands at a market value of around $50 billion, a smidge behind GM. This drop in value is mostly due to the aforementioned shortage and the suspension of two factories’ production lines. Hopefully, the shortage will be sorted out soon as many manufacturers are struggling to keep up with manufacturing demands.
7 GM ($51 Billion)
General Motors is currently the most valuable of the US ‘Big Three’, but only just. GM’s current market value stands at $51 billion. In 2021, GM produced an impressive 6.2 million vehicles across all of its subsidiaries – which includes Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC, as well as the Chinese brands, Wuling and Baojun.
GM has sold off previous subsidiaries Opel and Vauxhall to Stellantis and discontinued Chevrolet’s Australian counterpart, Holden. This has left them to focus on their four core companies, which have been doing quite well since, with many new models on the way.
6 BMW ($54 Billion)
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG also known as BMW was founded in 1916 through a merger between an aircraft engine manufacturer, an aircraft builder, and a motor company. BMW is part of the German ‘Big Three’ and like Mercedes-Benz, is still an independent company that owns multiple subsidiaries.
BMW produced around 2.2 million vehicles in 2021 and thus attained a market value of around $54 billion. This is thanks to the diverse range of vehicles – from the relatively affordable Mini sub-brand to the premium BMW and über luxurious Rolls-Royce cars. BMW also produces motorcycles under the Motorrad brand, which has its own dedicated dealership network.
5 Daimler ($75 Billion)
Daimler, which has recently been renamed to the Mercedes-Benz Group AG, was established in 1926 through a merger of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. The company continued as Daimler-Benz until 1998 when it bought Chrysler and became Daimler-Chrysler. In 2007, Chrysler left the company after being bought by Fiat, and Daimler became Daimler AG.
Daimler is currently the fifth-largest automaker and has a market value of about $75 billion. Like VW, Daimler has multiple subsidiaries and alliances – including Smart, SsangYong Motors, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi conglomerate.
4 BYD ($95 Billion)
BYD is one of the largest manufacturing companies in China and is split between BYD Automotive and BYD Electronic – which builds batteries for the Automotive division. BYD produces vehicles mostly for the Eastern hemisphere and the Middle East, with some models resembling Toyotas and BMWs. BYD produced nearly 1 million vehicles in 2021, but most of the revenue comes from the battery production side of the conglomerate.
BYD is a major developer of electric buses and supplies various Western countries with them for use in major cities. BYD has also been accused of the blatant copying of automotive designs – of which all charges were dropped by Chinese courts. As a final interesting point, BYD is an abbreviation for ‘Build Your Dreams’.
3 Volkswagen ($100 Billion)
VW is Europe’s largest auto manufacturer and is currently the third largest in the world. The VW Group owns many other car manufacturers – from everyday automakers such as SEAT and Skoda to premium ones like Audi and Porsche and finally high-end carmakers like Bentley and Lamborghini. All these result in a combined market value of around $100 billion.
VW is one of the most successful companies on the planet and thanks to their interest in electric vehicles, their growth has continued to increase – especially within their various subsidiaries. VW and all the companies they own, equates to about 5 million vehicles per year, although like most automakers, this number took a massive dip in 2020.
2 Toyota ($300 Billion)
Toyota has been around since the 1920s when they manufactured looms for use in the textile industry. In 1936, Toyota created its first passenger car, and the rest is history. Toyota has become one of the largest conglomerates in the world and owns or partially owns multiple companies in a number of sectors.
Toyota and VW are usually battling it out for the second-place position and VW achieved this after the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, but Toyota quickly regained lost ground and is currently worth around $300 billion. In addition, Toyota produces around 10 million vehicles a year – approximately 4 million more than any other manufacturer.
1 Tesla ($600 Billion – $1 Trillion+)
Tesla may only be around since 2003 and only began producing its first properly mass-produced car in 2012, but it has made its mark on the automotive world. Tesla’s stock price is in a perpetual pattern of massive growth and record-breaking free-fall almost on a monthly basis – or whenever CEO Elon Musk says or does something questionable.
This popularity has resulted in Tesla becoming the most profitable auto company on the planet, equating to a market value of well over $1 trillion – although it does fluctuate massively. This makes Tesla more valuable than the next seven automotive companies combined! Truly an amazing achievement from a company that is less than 20 years old.
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