Automobiles represent the world’s number 1 exported product by value, accounting for about US$880 billion worth in combined international sales of cars and trucks in 2017.
As of June 2018, Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota Motors is the world’s biggest automotive business in terms of market capitalization.
Close behind is a trio of Germany-based automobile makers: Volkswagen Group, Dailmer and BMW Group.
This analysis compares those four multinationals plus 21 other automobile makers in terms of their market capitalization, sales and profits based on Forbes 2000 research at June 2018. Also shown is the city where each automotive behemoth has its headquarters.
Top 25 Largest International Manufacturers: Cars and Trucks
Market capitalization refers the market value of a company’s outstanding shares at a certain point in time. It is a concept typically used to classify companies by their size taking in account equity values which can fluctuate wildly over time, depending on how global stock markets are behaving.
Below, you will find the world’s largest automotive companies by market capitalization at June 2018.
- Toyota Motors: US$200.7 billion (Up 16.8% from 2017)
- Volkswagen Group: $101.4 billion (Up 39.1%)
- Daimler: $85.7 billion (Up 12.6%)
- BMW Group: $72.3 billion (Up 25.3%)
- SAIC Motor: $63.8 billion (Up 46.7%)
- Honda Motor: $58.9 billion (Up 14.6%)
- General Motors: $52 billion (Up 2.4%)
- Tesla: $51.1 billion (Down -11.8%)
- Ford Motor: $44.6 billion (Down -0.2%)
- Nissan Motor: $39.7 billion (Up 3.4%)
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: $35 billion (Down -2.1%)
- Hyundai Motor: $31.6 billion (Down -7.6%)
- Renault: $30.8 billion (Up 25.2%)
- Suzuki Motor: $27.6 billion (Up 38.7%)
- Geely Automobile Holdings: $26.9 billion (Down -9.1%)
- Porsche Automobil Holding: $25.7 billion (Up 3.1%)
- Subaru: $25.3 billion (Down -7.3%)
- Ferrari: $25 billion (Down -4.6%)
- BYD: $21.4 billion (Up 16.3%)
- Peugeot: $21.4 billion (Up 26.6%)
- Guangzhou Automobile Group: $18.6 billion (Down -3.1%)
- Tata Motors: $16.8 billion (Down -32.5%)
- Mahindra & Mahindra: $16.1 billion (Up 36.4%)
- Great Wall Motor: $13.9 billion (Down -8.6%)
- KIA Motors: $12.7 billion (Up 0.8%)
In terms of their equities-based market cap, the fastest-growing automobile makers from 2017 to June 2018 were China-based SAIC Motor (up 46.7%), Germany’s Volkswagen Group (up 39.1%), Japan’s Suzuki Motor (up 38.7%), India’s Mahindra & Mahindra (up 36.4%) and France’s Peugeot (up 26.6%).
Based in the Indian city of Mumbai, Tata Motors’ market capitalization retreated by almost a third (-32.5%). The other of these leading automotive firms to experience double-digit market cap shrinkage was American electric vehicles specialist Tesla via its -11.8% setback year over year.
Top 25 Automobile Makers by Sales
Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group grew its sales at the fastest pace, up 50.2% from 2017 to June 2018. Well behind in second place was India’s Mahindra & Mahindra (up by 31.3%) trailed by France’s Peugeot (up 23.1%).
- Volkswagen Group: US$272 billion (Up 13.2% from 2017)
- Toyota Motors: $265.2 billion (Up 6.1%)
- Daimler: $193.2 billion (Up 14%)
- Ford Motor: $159.6 billion (Up 5.1%)
- General Motors: $144.4 billion (Down -13.2%)
- Honda Motor: $138.6 billion (Up 8.4%)
- SAIC Motor: $136.6 billion (Up 21.2%)
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: $128.8 billion (Down -3.3%)
- BMW Group: $114.4 billion (Up 9.8%)
- Nissan Motor: $106.9 billion (Up 0.9%)
- Hyundai Motor: $85.9 billion (Up 6.4%)
- Peugeot: $73.6 billion (Up 23.1%)
- Renault: $66.3 billion (Up 17%)
- KIA Motors: $47.9 billion (Up 5.4%)
- Tata Motors: $43 billion (Up 4.4%)
- Suzuki Motor: $33.9 billion (Up 19.7%)
- Subaru: $30.7 billion (Up 2.9%)
- BYD: $16.3 billion (Up 6.5%)
- Great Wall Motor: $15.2 billion (Up 7%)
- Mahindra & Mahindra: $14 billion (Up 31.3%)
- Geely Automobile Holdings: $13.8 billion (Up 1.9%)
- Tesla: $12.5 billion (Up 6.3%)
- Guangzhou Automobile Group: $10.8 billion (Up 50.2%)
- Ferrari: $4 billion (Up 2%)
- Porsche Automobil Holding: $38 million (Down -2.5%)
A trio of these mammoth automotive businesses posted sales declines: America’s General Motors (down -13.2%), Britain’s Fiat Chrysler (down -3.3%) and German luxury car maker Porsche Automobil Holding (down -2.5%).
Top 25 Automobile Makers by Profit
Two of these top vehicle manufacturers suffered losses as of June 2018. American electric vehicles pioneer Tesla thanks to its -$2.3 billion in red ink and American auto industry icon General Motors which posted an even deeper -$3.2 billion loss.
Japan’s Honda Motor posted the strongest profit improvement, up 144.3% for the latest period at June 2018. In second place was venerable German firm Volkswagen thanks to its robust 130.2% year-over-year profit gain trailed by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra’s 124.3% profit improvement. America’s Ford Motor was well behind albeit posting a respectable 69.6% boost in profitability.
Suffering the greatest percentage decline in profitability was Italy’s Ferrari via its -89.4% deterioration from 2017 to June 2018.
Headquarters for Top 25 Automobile Makers
Five of the top 25 biggest automotive manufacturers have headquarters located in Japan. Two sets of four other major competitors are based in China and Germany, respectively.
- BMW Group: Munich, Germany
- BYD: Shenzhen, China
- Daimler: Stuttgart, Germany
- Ferrari: Maranello, Italy
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: London, UK
- Ford Motor: Dearborn (Michigan), USA
- Geely Automobile Holdings: Hong Kong
- General Motors: Dearborn (Michigan), USA
- Great Wall Motor: Baoding, China
- Guangzhou Automobile Group: Guangzhou, China
- Honda Motor: Tokyo, Japan
- Hyundai Motor: Seoul, South Korea
- KIA Motors: Seoul, South Korea
- Mahindra & Mahindra: Mumbai, India
- Nissan Motor: Yokohama, Japan
- Peugeot: Paris, France
- Porsche Automobil Holding: Stuttgart, Germany
- Renault: Boulogne-Billancourt, France
- SAIC Motor: Shanghai, China
- Subaru: Tokyo, Japan
- Suzuki Motor: Hamamatsu, Japan
- Tata Motors: Mumbai, India
- Tesla: Palo Alto, United States
- Toyota Motors: Toyota, Japan
- Volkswagen Group: Wolfsburg, Germany
See also Car Exports by Country, Car Imports by Country and Truck Exports by Country
Forbes Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top automobile maker compiled for this study: Volkswagen Group. Accessed on January 7, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings: Auto & Truck Manufacturers, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 7, 2019
Investopedia, Market Capitalization Defined. Accessed on January 7, 2019
Wikipedia, Tesla, Inc. (example of company source data for 2017 sales and profit). Accessed on January 7, 2019
Wikipedia, Tesla Inc Market Cap (example of company source data for 2017 revenue, profit, market capitalization). Accessed on January 7, 2019