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World’s 10 Largest Car Manufacturers
Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corporation is the world’s largest car manufacturer. It has sold 3,564,105 units in the first half of 2009 compared to 4,815,442 units in the first half of 2008. Though Toyota reported an annual net loss of US$4.4 billion on May 8, 2009, it could still emerge as the world’s largest car maker. The Japanese giant has been severely affected by the 2007-2009 financial crises. Toyota ventured into the automobile industry in 1934 with its first product Type A engine. It manufactured in its first passenger car the Toyota AA in 1936. Toyota Motor Corporation was established as an independent and separate company in 1937.
General Motors was established in 1908 by William C. Durant. It is world’s second-largest car maker. General Motors was world’s number one car company for consecutive 77 years from 1931 to 2007. Because of the economic conditions, the beleaguered car giant went bankrupt on June 1, 2009. On 10th July 2009, the company emerged from” Chapter 11 bankruptcy” reorganization. In spite of all these, General Motors could sell 3,552,722 units compared to last year’s 4,541,125 units.
The Volkswagen Group is the world’s third largest car maker. It sold 3,100.300 units this year compared to 3,265,200 units of previous years. The Volkswagen Group constitutes the car brands like Audi AG, Bentley Motors Ltd., Automobiles Bugatti SA, Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A., SEAT, Skoda Auto and heavy goods vehicle manufacturer Scania AB. Recently, Porsche has united with the Volkswagen Group. The German luxury car company was founded on May 28, 1937 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler wanted a “people’s car”. Volkswagen literally means ‘people’s car’ in German.
Hyundai-Kia has emerged as the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer. This year Hyundai-Kia jumped up a rank above. The Korean car maker showed global sales for the first half of 2009 at 2,153,000 units. The Indian subsidiary of Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, the Hyundai Motors India, is the country’s second largest car manufacturer. The Hyundai Motor Company was founded in 1967. It became the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group when Hyundai Motor Company purchased 51% of South Korea’s second-largest car company, Kia Motors in 1998.
Ford Motor Company was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. Presently, it is world’s fifth largest car maker with 2,145,000 units of global sales. This year, Hyundai-Kia edged out the mighty Ford of the fourth position. In 2007, Ford fell from second to third-ranked car maker for the first time in 56 years, behind only General Motors and Toyota.
The French car company sold 1,586,900 units in 2009. Last year it showed a sale of 1,844,700 units. The company was formed in 1976 and sells under the Peugeot and Citroen brand names. PSA is the second largest automaker based in Europe.
The Honda Motor Company secures the seventh place with sales units of 1,586,000 compared to last year’s 2,022,00 units. Honda became Japan’s second largest car maker in 2001 by superseding Nissan. Moreover, Honda is the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines. The company was founded by Soichiro Honda on 24th September 1948. Soichiro Honda dreamed to provide a personal mobility to everyone. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car.
Nissan Motors was founded in 1932. It is among the top three Asian car companies. Nissan is in the eight position with 1,545,976 units. Last year it sold 2,013,611 units in the first half. Nissan faced severe financial difficulties in 1999 and entered an alliance with Renault S.A. of France. The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have featured among Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 14 straight years, since the award’s inception.
Suzuki Motor Corporation is the ninth largest car manufacturer in the world. The company began as Suzuki Loom Works in 1909 under Michio Suzuki. Suzuki started producing cars in 1955. Maruti Suzuki, the Indian arm of the Japanese car honcho is India’s largest car manufacturer. The car company sold 1.152,000 units this year compared to 2008’s 1,283,000 units.
Renault is the world’s tenth largest car maker with 1.106.989 units this year. Last year, it sold 1.326,164 units. Renault S.A. is a French carmaker producing cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks since 1899. The company was formed by Louis Renault, his brothers Marcel and Fernand, and his friends Thomas Evert and Julian Wyer. Renault has joined hands with Nissan on March 27, 1999. The Nissan-Renault Alliance is world’s fourth largest car maker if their individual units were taken together. Nissan-Renault Alliance sold 2,652,965 units this year.