Visualizing Major Car Companies by Market Cap

In January 2020, Tesla became the most valuable U.S. automaker ever. Their latest earnings report surpassed market estimates and resulted in the company’s first annual profit. Tesla is best known for its electric vehicles (EV), unique in a marketplace where most products are powered by petroleum. Since Tesla went public in 2010, the company has enjoyed consistent market success. Our new visualization compares Tesla’s market capitalization against other well-known automakers headquartered both in the U.S. and overseas.

car companies by market cap

  • Since its IPO in 2010, Tesla’s market cap has grown from $2.64 billion to $101.81 billion.
  • Percentage-wise, Ford’s market cap has suffered the most over the past 20 years. Its market cap dropped from $81.99 billion in 2000 to $35.68 billion in 2020, a decrease of more than 50 percent.
  • Over the past ten years, Tesla and Ferrari are the only two automakers in the chart that have consistently grown their market cap or remained relatively steady.
  • Even though Tesla is the most valuable automaker in the U.S. ($101.81 billion), the well-established Japanese automaker Toyota has a market cap nearly twice as high ($202.04 billion).
  • Ferrari is the most recent automaker in the chart to launch an IPO (in 2015). Tesla and General Motors went public in 2010, and the other automakers became public companies prior to 2000.

Data for the market capitalization came from Ycharts. All values are adjusted by the CPI-U, which was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Every year but 2020 is adjusted with the January CPI value for that year. The data for 2020 is adjusted with the index value for December 2019. The value for each year is the earliest the company had in that specific year.

The chart tracks the market cap of eight publicly-traded automakers over the past 20 years. Each automaker is represented by a differently colored line, with the line originating from the year of its IPO (or the year 2000) and continuing through 2020. The numbers listed under the company names and logos on the right side of the chart are the most recent market caps, retrieved on January 27, 2020. As you can see, most of the automakers in the chart have experienced significant market volatility over the past 20 years.

Car Companies by Market Cap 2020 

1. Toyota: $202 billion
2. Tesla: $102 billion
3. Volkswagen: $96 billion  
4. Daimler: $51 billion
5. General Motors: $49 billion
6. Honda: $47 billion
7. Ferrari: $43 billion
8. Ford: $36 billion

Tesla’s market cap is more than twice the amount of the other U.S. automakers on this list, General Motors and Ford. Consumer appetite for electric vehicles seems to be growing along with concerns about the environment and the effects of climate change. Interestingly, Tesla’s Model 3 is the only EV making some headway in the U.S. Taking into account all models, Tesla’s EV market share was around 78% in the U.S. However, some analysts say that this Tesla fever may come to an end if the government cuts the subsidies for consumers. If you’re wondering how much it costs to buy an EV, here is a breakdown by state.

Thinking about buying a car? You may want to check out our auto loan guide to shop around for the best rates. If you’re looking to save some bucks on your auto insurance for your new car, you should check out our auto insurance cost guide, too. 

Would you consider making the switch to an electric vehicle? Let us know in the comments!

About the article


Juan Carlos