How Much Money Automakers Earn Per Second Is Fascinating


2020 has been a very rough sea ride for the whole world. Well, for most of us people who have a 9 to 5 job (thankfully) and enjoy driving to and from our home and work. Like us, the automotive sector is also aboard a ship in a rough sea. It has evidenced a fall in car sales for the second consecutive quarter. How bad is it? Estimates say that it is nearly 20 percent for the second quarter! But this wasn’t the case last year when the production stood at a whopping 92 million units! That is a lot of cars! The States saw 17 million new sets of wheels take to the roads in 2019. Part of this sales figure can also be attributed to the companies shifting their focus to larger crossovers and SUVs.

There is a new study answering the same question that we are asking, that is, “How much do the car companies earn per second?”. This study points out that the companies at the top and the companies at the bottom of the list have a huge margin between them. More than a couple of thousands of dollars per second. Leading the list is the Volkswagen Group and Toyota.

Making it into the ‘more than $3,000 per second’ club are 8 manufacturers:

  • VW (Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche) [$9.202.88]
  • Toyota (Lexus) [$8,634.58]
  • Ford (Lincoln) [$4,946.73]
  • Honda (Acura) [$4,537.67]
  • GM (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac) [$4,351.76]
  • FCA (Dodge, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Jeep) [$3,856.10]
  • BMW (MINI and Rolls Royce) [$3,708.89]
  • Mercedes Benz [$3,136.84]

It was very much expected of the German carmaker to be at the top because of all the brands it has under its umbrella: Lamborghini, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, and more. All these brands have cars that are worth a lot, and hence the $$ VW earns per second is much higher than other brands like Ford and Tesla.

What comes as a surprise to many is the Japanese guy here: Toyota (and Lexus). It doesn’t have many expensive cars in its portfolio and is mostly focused on meeting the average consumer’s needs. With many new launches, like the 2021 Toyota Avalon, it is churning out more units than the VW Group, every passing second! The 2021 Avalon serves as the Japanese marque’s flagship luxury vehicle and caters to a wide variety of customer segments with its trim levels. There’s ‘Limited’ for the more mature people, a hybrid for the gas-conscious and a TRD for the youngsters looking out for a reliable yet sporty car; all of which come with a 3.5L V6 (2.5L 4-banger for the hybrid).

Talking of the other manufacturers in the bandwagon, we have Ford (and Lincoln) on the 3rd position followed by yet another Japanese marque who has also made its name in 2-wheelers: Honda! What’s more interesting in this study is that there is a $3,500 per second decrease in earnings from Toyota to Ford! Next in line are two more American conglomerates: General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles netting in $4,351.76 per second and $3,856.10 per second respectively. The German marques are the ones trailing FCA by netting in $3,708.89 and $3,136.84 respectively. At the bottom of the list are Tesla and Subaru, with less than $1,000 per second. Mazda just edges out of the under $1,000 range, earning nearly $1,020 and is preceded by Suzuki, earning nearly $1,100.

The current year is going to be a very tough time for all the car manufacturers and thus the production will not be as much as 2019 amidst all the lockdowns and stringent actions put in effect by the respective governments. One clear take away from the list is that Volkswagen and Toyota enjoy a very huge lead as compared to the others. Volkswagen sells lesser units than Toyota, but each unit being an expensive one and Toyota selling its cars, like the 2021 Toyota Avalon, like hot pancakes!