10. SAIC Motors
Market Value: $26.7 billion
Headquartered in Shanghai, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited is a Chinese state-owned automotive manufacturing company, with origins dating back to the 1940s. One of China’s so-called “Big Four” automakers, the company boasted the largest production volume of any of its rivals in 2012, producing more than 4.5 million units, 76 percent of which were passenger vehicles. Today, SAIC sells vehicles under a variety of brand names such as MG and Roewe, and share joint venture partnerships with Volkswagen and General Motors.
9. General Motors
Market Value: $38.5 billion
For 77 consecutive years, from 1931 to 2007, General Motors led the way in global vehicle sales and remains to this day one of the world’s largest automakers by vehicle unit sales. Headquartered in Motor City itself, Detroit, Michigan, the company employs some 212,000 people and does business in approximately 157 countries worldwide. In 37 of these countries it produces vehicles under twelve distinct brands, including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun, Holden, HSV, Jie Fang, Opel, Vauxhall, UzDaewoo, and Wuling.
8. Hyundai Motor Company
Market Value: $41.5 billion
Founded in 1967, the Hyundai Motor Company is a South Korean multinational automaker, which, along with its 32.8 percent owned subsidiary, Kia Motors, together comprises the Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth largest automaker based on annual vehicle sales in 2012. Hyundai operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility, located in Ulsan, South Korea, which boasts an annual production capacity of some 1.6 billion units. Hyundai’s vehicles are today sold in 193 countries through a network of more than 6,000 dealerships and showrooms.
7. Nissan Motors
Market Value: $43.4 billion
While the Nissan name has been in use since the 1930s its origins can be traced back several decades further giving the Japanese automaker a legacy that dates back more the a century. Today the company’s headquarters are situated in Nishi-ku, Yokohama and it is from here that its directors steer a business responsible for selling over 4.9 million vehicles in 2012 alone. In July 2013, the company announced the relaunch of its Datsun brand in an effort to target emerging markets, with initial results suggesting that its position on this list could well rise come next year.
6. Ford Motor Company
Market Value: $51.8 billion
Very much a part of American automotive history, the Ford Motor Company was of course founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Described by Forbes Magazine as “the most important industrial company in the history of the United States”, Ford was responsible for introducing to the world methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. In 2012, the company sold 2.25 million vehicles in the US alone, and today has manufacturing operations throughout the world, from the UK and Germany, to China, Brazil, Australia and South Africa.
5. BMW Group
Market Value: $60 billion
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW to you and me, was founded in 1916 and makes its home in Munich, Germany. BMW is part of the so called “German Big Three” luxury automakers, together with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which make up the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world. The parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, BMW also owns and produces Mini cars, while its global operations are supplemented by overseas subsidiaries in the US, Canada, China, Japan, India, Egypt and South Africa. In June 2002, Forbes.com placed BMW at number one in its list of the most reputable companies in the world.
4. Daimler AG
Market Value: $61.4 billion
Like BMW, Daimler calls Germany its home, specifically Stuttgart where its headquarters are based, and remains one of the most covered status symbol brands for the rich and powerful. By unit sales the company is the thirteenth largest car manufacturer and second largest truck manufacturer in the world. As of the beginning of 2013, the company provided employment for some 275,000 people and today owns or has shares in a number of marques including Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Beijing Automotive Group, Tesla Motors and Renault-Nissan Alliance.
3. Honda Motor Company
Market Value: $72.4 billion
With a global line-up of models that include the Civic, Accord, Insight, CR-V, CR-Z and two versions of the Odyssey, Honda’s automotive manufacturing legacy can be traced back to the early 1960s. In the decades since it has grown into Japan’s second largest manufacturer by volume, and the eight largest globally. Today its line-up varies from country to country, while its efforts in the field of producing hybrid electric vehicles has seen it emerge as a direct competitor to the Toyota Prius. As of this year the company continues to invest billions of dollars of its own revenues into research and development.
2. Volkswagen Group
Market Value: $94.4 billion
In German, Volkswagen literally means “people’s car”, and the people of Germany have every right to be proud of a home grown enterprise that has become the largest automotive company in the world by revenue alone. For over two decades the company has maintained the largest market share in Europe and in 2012 it produced the third latest number of vehicles of any company in the world. Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen marques, and commercial vehicles under the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles marques. While the company remains fiercely proud of its European heritage, its operations in China have grown incredibly over the last decade making this its largest market.
1. Toyota Motor Corporation
Market Value: $167.2 billion
Founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda and headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation was the largest automobile manufacturer by production in 2012, with the 200-millionth vehicle rolling off its production line in July of that year. The company, which today employs over 333,000 people, has factories across the globe from which it manufactures and assembles a range of vehicles, from a list of over 70 different models sold under its namesake brand, for local markets. Among the best known of Toyota’s brands one will today find Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu and Hino Motors. From hatchbacks and SUVs to sedans and hybrids, Toyota reach continues to expand making it every bit the definition of a multinational corporation.