Advertisement

"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?

Advertisement - Article continues below

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...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021
News

Entire Volkswagen line-up updated for 2021

Volkswagen has revised its complete range of vehicles for 2021, adding new engines, fresh tech and its latest MIB3 infotainment system
11 Aug 2020
Best new car deals 2020
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2020

Secure your dream model from our list of the best new car deals on the market right now
6 Aug 2020
New Maserati Ghibli Trofeo arrives to take on BMW M5
Maserati Ghibli

New Maserati Ghibli Trofeo arrives to take on BMW M5

The new Maserati Ghibli Trofeo packs a 572bhp V8 engine – and it’s looking to give the BMW M5 a bloody nose
10 Aug 2020