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The world’s 5 most valuable car companies

2019-05-28 10:00

Lance Branquinho

The news of FCA’s intention to merge with Renault has once again revealed the complicated nature of global car company structures, sales volumes, and values. 

Renault-Fiat merger a tempting match as challenges mount - experts

Which are the largest and most valuable car companies in the world? We’ve looked at sales volumes and equity valuations to compile the list below. You’ll notice Renault and FCA’s absence.

Not much due to sales volumes, but rather the relatively small market valuation of both these pending merger partners. 

Here are the world's most valuable car companies:


Japan’s most renowned automotive brand and one which will in all likelihood never be the target of a corporate takeover. Toyota always ranks as the largest or near-largest producer of automobiles, with production a shade over 10-million units. 

Toyota Corolla

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In 2018, it finished in second place overall, with 10 435 420 vehicles delivered to customers. It is an enormously valuable company too, with a market capitalisation of $193-billion. Your calculator probably could not even convert that to Rands without producing a screen error. 


The premium conglomerate which features a complicated ownership structure between the German government, Porsche family and Qatar investment authority. 

VW Golf R
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Volkswagen has some of the most impressive brands within its structure, including Audi, Bugatti and Porsche. Despite being tainted by an American diesel emissions scandal, it still commands immense power due to the depth of its technical abilities, with engineering staff considered to be amongst the world’s best.

VW has a market capitalisation of $80-billion. Last year the VW brand and its subsidiaries produced 10 810 349 vehicles, making it the world’s leading manufacturer. 


The oldest remaining car company still trading, Mercedes-Benz has been there since the very beginning. It commands a massive R&D budget and currently fields the most extensive portfolio of luxury cars in the world. 

Daring designs have brought it a more youthful and sustainable customer base of late, and the company was one of the first to dedicate resources to autonomous driving research, back in the 1980s.

In the battle with its fierce Bavarian rival, BMW, for the title of Germany’s most successful premium car brand, Mercedes-Benz is currently winning. 

Last year it sold 2 735 008 vehicles, besting BMW’s 2 500 912.

Mercedes-Benz is currently valued at $57-billion, as opposed to BMW’s market capitalisation of $46-billion. 

General Motors

During the 1950s and early 1960s this was the most powerful car company in the world. General Motors has suffered from corporate largesse and product planning errors over the last few decades, reducing its first place sales ranking to fifth overall, amongst global rivals. 

                                                                                                    Image: Quickpic

Despite no longer trading in South Africa, GM’s North American bakkie business keeps rewarding it with steady revenue. Global sales were 8 643 003 and its total market value is rated at $49bn. 


The Korean corporate twins which have unarguably been the chief disruptions this decade. Hyundai and Kia pose the biggest threat to traditional Japanese automotive share within the global market. 


In 2018, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined volume of 7 416 346 vehicles, making them the fifth largest global automotive retailer. Market analysis value the company highly too, with a market capitalisation.

Read more on:    kia  |  mercedes  |  volkswagen  |  hyundai  |  gm  |  toyota  |  lance branquinho

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