Not long ago, automakers were the top-selling companies in the world. That era seems to be over. Only two representatives of the industry are represented in the top 10 of the “Fortune Global 500”. This year’s list of the world’s largest companies in terms of sales highlights the carmaker’s crisis.
Six of the ten largest car companies had to report a decline in total sales for the 2019 fiscal year that ended in March 2020. For two of the largest groups in the industry, the decline was even double-digit. For the other competitors, the growth was mostly well below two percent.
Profits in the auto industry collapse
It looked more dramatic with the profits. Seven of the ten top runners had to report a minus to their shareholders, and all of them had double-digit profits. One group even recorded a decline of more than 300 percent. At a traditional global corporation, profits fell to less than $ 50 million. The German auto industry also had a difficult year. In return, all three groups were able to announce significant increases with increasing profits at the beginning of the Corona crisis.
These are the largest automakers in the world.
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# 10 Hyundai engine
In 2020, Hyundai opened the top 10 of the “Fortune Global 500” in the “Vehicle Manufacturers and Suppliers” industrial sector. The Korean company ranked 84th worldwide with sales of 90.7 billion US dollars, ten places higher than last year. Hyundai was one of the industry winners in its 25th year on the rankings. According to the information, sales increased by three percent in the 2019 financial year. The profit even rose by 87 percent to 2.6 billion dollars.
@imago images / Kyodo News
# 9 Nissan engine
Nissan, however, is in crisis. The Japanese automaker reported a sales decline of 13 percent to $ 90.9 billion for the 2019 fiscal year that ended in March 2020. In terms of profit, Nissan even slipped into the red. According to the ranking, it fell by 315 percent to minus 6.2 billion dollars. In terms of sales, Nissan was only 83rd in the “Fortune Global 500”, 17 places worse than in 2019.
@imago images / Lackovic
# 8 BMW Group
The BMW Group went down three places. It took 56th place in the 2020 ranking by “Fortune”. The Bavarian automaker increased sales by 1.4 percent to 117 billion dollars. However, profits fell by over a third to $ 5.5 billion. BMW achieved the highest place in the 2016 ranking. At that time, the group was ranked 51st among the top-selling companies in the world.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 7 SAIC engine
The crisis year 2019/2020 slows the soaring of SAIC Motor. The Chinese automaker, based in Shanghai, made its debut in 2012 at number 130 in the ranking. In 2019, the company, which is at least half state-owned, advanced to 39th place with brands such as Roewe. Currently it is only enough for 52nd place. According to “Fortune”, sales fell by eleven percent to 122.1 billion dollars. The profit collapsed almost a third (32 percent) to 3.7 billion dollars.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
# 6 General Motors
General Motors suffered the third largest crash in the ranking after Nissan and SAIC. The US group fell eight places to 40th place. According to the report, sales decreased by 6.7 percent to 137.2 billion dollars. The minus in profit was therefore 16.0 percent. But that was actually the lowest percentage loss among the losers in this division. The profit margins in the industry are so bad. For General Motors, the downward trend is continuing. At the turn of the millennium, the automaker had been the largest company in the world for several years. In 2010, GM fell to 38th place in the Fortune Global 500. After a recovery, however, the financial crisis began to decline again.
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# 6 Honda engine
Honda Motor moved up one decimal place ahead of General Motors in fifth place among the top-selling automakers. The Japanese company reported a turnover of 137.3 billion dollars, 4.2 percent less than in fiscal year 2018. The profit collapsed by almost a quarter (23.8 percent) to 4.2 billion dollars. Honda fell from 34th to 39th place in the global ranking. In 2004 the carmaker achieved its best placement with rank 25.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 4 Ford Motor
At Ford, sales are only half the story. Measured against this value, the US automaker only declined one place in the Global 500 to 31st. Sales fell 2.8 percent to 155.9 billion dollars. However, profits almost halved (minus 98.7 percent) and amounted to a meager $ 47 million for the 2019 fiscal year. This made Ford the only top automaker without billions in profits (with the exception of the loss-making business at Nissan). The traditional group was still the second largest company in the world in 1997.
@imago images / Michael Weber
# 3 Daimler
Daimler threatens to slip out of the top 20 largest companies in the world. In 1999, the Stuttgart-based car maker was still in second place in the “Fortune Global 500”. In 2020 it went two places down to 20th place, but that was still ten places above the previous low in 2010. In the first year under CEO Ola Källenius, sales fell by 2.1 percent to 193.3 billion dollars, according to the ranking. Profits plummeted by more than two-thirds (68.9 percent) and amounted to $ 2.7 billion.
@imago images / Sven Simon
# 2 Toyota Motor
Toyota is the only automaker in the top 10 to maintain last year’s position. With an increase of one percent to 275.3 billion dollars, it remained for Japan’s largest auto company in tenth place worldwide and in second place in the industry. Toyota also increased profits by 12.4 percent to $ 19.1 billion. After Hyundai in tenth place, this was the highest percentage increase in the top 10. Toyota pleased its shareholders with consistently high sales. The company has never fallen below eleventh place in the Global 500 since 1995. It has made it to fifth place three times in the history of the ranking, the most recent being in 2017.
@imago images / photothek
# 1 Volkswagen
Despite the diesel scandal, Volkswagen is expanding its status as the largest car manufacturer in the world. The Wolfsburg-based company improved its “Fortune” ranking by two places to seventh place. No car company was able to report higher sales: $ 282.7 billion (plus 1.6 percent). Besides Toyota, Volkswagen is also the only company in the top 10 with profits in the double-digit billion range. Here the Wolfsburg had to leave the competition from Japan with 15.5 billion dollars (plus 8.5 percent) but the top spot. Since 2013, Volkswagen has had a regular place in the “Fortune” list of the ten best-selling companies in the world. In 2017, the carmaker achieved its best placement in sixth place. In 1995 it was only 34th place.