"For the world's largest car firms, high revenues don't always translate into profits"

Mike Rutherford's been examining the books of some of the world's largest car companies - and the figures make for staggering reading

How much do motor manufacturers rake in annually from regular or occasional customers? During the last financial year, just five leading firms/industrial groups - Daimler, GM, Renault-Nissan, Toyota and VW Group - enjoyed a collective revenue of around a trillion dollars. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

In terms of earnings, there's very little between the two undisputed heavyweight champions of the world. VW Group and Toyota each enjoy annual revenue figures of $236.6 billion - the former grossed $236.599bn, the latter $236.591bn. That's almost half a trillion right there, putting them in a superleague of their own. Astonishingly, each is pulling in around $1bn every working weekday, and each grosses more than the world's 'most successful' company, Apple.

Apple Carplay review

True, VW and Toyota endure colossal daily expenses - everything from hundreds of thousands of employees apiece, to rising raw material costs, to crippling energy bills, to expensive legal battles. But they can afford it. Sort of. After all, these two have the highest revenues of any manufacturers (not just motor companies) on the planet.

Daimler (Mercedes/Smart to you and me) is a comparative pauper, but it still grossed $166bn. This puts it ahead of General Motors, after GM saw $152bn go through its corporate till last time around. Combine the figures of sisters Nissan ($101bn-plus) and Renault ($50bn-plus) and this due almost matches GM. Ford seems more subdued lately, but its $150bn means it's still close to the top of the revenue tree.

The UK's biggest new car discounts revealed

Hyundai pulled in $81bn, little bro' Kia, $44bn. And although that combined figure of $125bn puts the Seoul brothers in a credible seventh slot, this is a global top five car manufacturing outfit, so its revenues are lower than expected, perhaps. Honda ($122bn), China's SAIC ($107bn) and BMW ($102bn) complete the top 10. Just outside it sits Dongfeng ($83bn), Peugeot-Citroen ($61bn), TATA Motors ($42bn), little ol' Mazda ($28bn) and lean, mean Suzuki on $26bn - which still equates to a not unreasonable half a billion dollars a week, or $100 million per weekday.

But there's a catch. For the world's largest car firms, high revenues don't necessarily translate into profits. Technically, some are unprofitable. But that's another story... for another day. Watch this space.

Do these figures surprise you? Let us know in the comments below...

Most Popular

Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car
Tipo 184 kit car front

Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car

Inspired by classic Grand Prix racing cars, Darren Collins has created a model that faithfully recreates the originals, but with a twist - it’s actual…
11 May 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
28 Apr 2022
New Lucid Air 2022 review
Lucid Air - front tracking
Lucid Air

New Lucid Air 2022 review

Lucid's first model intends to make a lasting mark on the luxury EV market
13 May 2022