Car Industry Consolidation


One hundred years ago, the United States was in the midst of a massive consolidation of its auto industry. The twenty-five companies mentioned in the chart above are some of the better-known automobile manufacturers in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. As you can see, these companies eventually consolidated to form the “Big 3”, of which only two remain American-owned companies. This list does not include the other hundred or so automobile ventures that failed during this period. This is only in North America. The same pattern of mergers and acquisitions and failures took place around the world, particularly in Europe and Japan.

Now, as the world pivots away from the traditional internal combustion engine toward electric vehicles, ironically the power source originally envisioned by Henry Ford, we find electric car companies growing up all over the place. It has also created spin-off businesses in areas such as battery and charging equipment providers.

Below is a list of some of the better-known enterprises, which are based in a wide range of countries around the world. Due to the large capital investment required to manufacture vehicles as well as significant R&D costs to develop the next generation of vehicles, it is likely these companies will also face a wave of integration like that of their predecessors.