Biggest automakers make the grade

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gold-auto-awardEach year, Forbes ranks the biggest, most powerful, most valuable companies in the world. Automakers don’t even break into Forbes’ top 10, but it’s still interesting to see how the biggest carmakers fare among global big business.
Forbes uses are variety of criteria to measure companies’ worth including sales, profits, assets and market value. Here’s a look at the top five automakers, according to Forbes.

No. 14 — Volkswagen
Leading the way and top automaker, according to Forbes, is Germany’s Volkswagen. Volkswagen sold 9.3 million cars in 2012, up 12.2 percent from the prior year. Brands include Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati and Scania.

No. 31 — Toyota
Japanese automaker Toyota ranks second with a record 2012 auto sales of 9.75 million. Headquartered in Toyota Aichi, Japan, Toyota was founded in 1937 and produced its first cars three years later. The company produced its 200th-million vehicle in July 2012.

No. 36 — Daimler
Daimler is best known for its Mercedes-Benz brand, but this multinational also manufactures trucks, commercial vehicles, buses and engines for Formula 1 cars. Also noteworthy is that Daimler has invested heavily in the emerging Chinese luxury auto market.

No. 53 — Ford
One of the biggest and most successful family-owned businesses of all time, Ford pulls into the No. 53 spot on the Forbes’ list. In 2012, the Ford Focus was the best selling car in the world, beating out the Toyota Corolla, according to research firm R. L. Polk & Co. The company manufactured 5.6 million vehicles in 2012.

No. 55 — BMW Group
Germany’s BMW group topped the luxury market in 2012 with 1.84 million cars sold globally. In addition to BMW, it also produces the Mini and Rolls-Royce.