What the figures say about the car industry: who is the best-selling brand

The unprecedented challenges facing the automotive industry in 2021 have led to unprecedented financial results for most companies in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

This is the first and perhaps most surprising conclusion from a detailed study of financial reports from 19 carmakers around the world.

Fewer cars were sold than before the pandemic, but profits continued to rise.

According to financial statements from Aston Martin, BMW Group, Daimler, Ferrari, Ford, Geely Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Group, Isuzu, Mazda, Renault-Nissan, Stellantis, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata Group, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen Group, revenues totaled $ 1.89 trillion.

This is an increase of 13% compared to 2020, but a decrease of 6% compared to 2019. Interestingly, the total units sold did not follow the same pattern.

In 2021, these companies sold 69.54 million vehicles, which was 2% more than in 2020 and 14% less than in 2019. This means that car manufacturers have raised prices or reduced discounts during the year.

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This bizarre trend of units sold versus profit is partly explained by the lack of new cars available due to the chip shortage. Fewer cars available, combined with higher demand due to blockages due to COVID-19, have led to higher prices.

Ferrari dominates the industry

Of all the brands, Ferrari continues to be by far the most profitable car manufacturer. Operating margin increased from 21.4% in 2020 to 25.5% last year. Based on the figures, the company earned $ 106,078 per unit sold in 2021.

The explanation is simple, the Italian company is not pulled down by cheap models, as in the case of other companies, and at the same time sells extremely expensive products, with an extremely large commercial addition.

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Tesla was a far cry, earning $ 6,693 per vehicle.

The meaning of numbers

Despite the impact of the pandemic on global economies and the subsequent supply chain problems affecting the car industry, these 19 companies have made more money than in 2020 and 2019.

Profits from companies’ operations (total revenue minus production costs and selling / administrative expenses) amounted to $ 143.97 billion in 2021.

In other words, for every $ 100 in sales, these companies managed to keep $ 7.60 in profit.

In contrast, in 2020, that figure was only $ 3.60 for every $ 100 in sales.

This is likely to reflect the peak of the pandemic in 2020, as in 2019, the operating profit was $ 5.10 to $ 100. The increase also seems impressive when the total operating profits are compared with the total number of cars sold.

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