Top 10 Car Manufacturers in the World

By Jack Goddard
Our rundown of the biggest carmakers in the world, by revenue last year

2020 spelt financial despair across the world, with many different organisations reaping the consequences of COVID.

Car companies were unfortunately no different, with most seeing huge downturns in revenue and profit, as compared to their 2019 selves. So, just how much money did car manufacturers make last year? Read on to find out, in our list of the biggest carmakers in the world, by 2020 revenue.

10. Nissan


Nissan kicks off the top ten, recording a revenue of around 91 billion American dollars in 2020. They are the first of three Japanese carmakers on this list, just as they were the first car company in the East Asian country to be founded, on Boxing Day 1933. Another car manufacturer, Renault, actually owns 43.4% of Nissan’s shares (Nissan also owns 15% of Renault’s shares), although the French motor company doesn’t feature on this list.


9. Hyundai


Hyundai registered roughly $94 billion in revenue in 2020; despite their revenue decreasing by 1.65% from 2019, they are up one place from last year’s edition of this list. The Seoul-based company, which has a market share in South Korea of around 45%, also owns the Genesis and Kia brands.


8. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)


Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, better known as just SAIC, is the first and only Chinese motor company on this list. Best known in the West for producing MG cars, they also manufacture the brands Maxus, Roewe, and Yuejin. SAIC reported a revenue of around $115 billion last year, down from $136 billion in 2019.


7. BMW


BMW are the first of three German car manufacturers on this list, up one place from 2019 having made just €6 billion less in the last pandemic-stricken year. It made just shy of €99 billion in 2020, equating to roughly $118 billion. The Munich-based carmaker, which made aircraft engines during both world wars, also produces Mini and Rolls-Royce cars.


6. General Motors


General Motors drops one place from 2019 after turning over $122 billion in 2020. The American manufacturers, who sold around 6.8 million Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs in total last year, have been pipped this time by another little-know car company also based in Detroit…


5. Ford


Ford is the highest American car manufacturer on this list, with a revenue of $127 billion in 2020. Despite clocking in at just five here, the Michigan-based company still made the best-selling cars in the US and UK last year; the Ford F-Series and the Ford Fiesta respectively. The F-Series has now been the best-selling vehicle in the US for 39 years in a row.


4. Honda


Up two places from last year, Honda turned in a revenue of $137 billion dollars in 2020. The Japanese manufacturer made just $6 billion dollars less than in 2019, despite a global pandemic, although it wasn’t enough to even make them the highest earning carmakers in their own country…


3. Daimler


A potential surprise at number three, until you remember that one of the subsidiaries of the German carmaker is the world-famous luxury brand Mercedes-Benz. The manufacturer, who also produce Smart cars, turned over €154.3 billion ($184 billion dollars) last year, enough to retain its position on this list.


2. Volkswagen


Volkswagen is down one place, after topping this list last year. A revenue of €223 billion ($254 billion) in the midst of a global pandemic isn’t bad though, even if the German manufacturer did manage around $300 billion of sales in 2019. In total, the company sold about 9.3 million units of the various cars in its group, which features 12 brands, including Audi, Skoda and Porsche.

1. Toyota


Toyota is number one on this list once more, after wrestling top spot back from Volkswagen. The Japanese company, who last peaked the list in 2018, made a total revenue of just over $275 billion in 2020. The carmaker actually achieved higher revenue than in 2019, by about $3 billion, selling 9.5 million vehicles in the process. This included numerous Toyota Corollas, the best-selling car in the world.


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