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20 Largest Manufacturing Companies in the World

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 20 largest manufacturing companies in the world. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 largest manufacturing companies in the world.

It is hard to overstate the importance of the global manufacturing sector, responsible for around 17% of the total global GDP, while also being the backbone of many other major industries across the world. In 2021 alone, manufacturing accounted for $16 trillion directly, and is especially integral to developed countries, where manufacturing accounts for a relatively large percentage of the national GDP as opposed to developing nations, where the national GDP has a higher agricultural contribution. Despite contributing a lower percentage in developing nations, it is still absolutely integral to their economies as well, as a more developed manufacturing sector results in better infrastructure, which in turn is directly related to improvements in quality of life. Simultaneously, manufacturing developments are also taking place in the agricultural sector, helping improve efficiency and yield, and thus generate more income for those dependent on the agriculture industry.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world in 2020, most industries were seriously disturbed as lockdowns and restrictions were imposed in most countries. The manufacturing sector saw greater flexibility because of the realization of its importance, with many countries allowing necessary manufacturing to continue. Even then, the overall impact to the industry was devastating and resulted in global supply chain shortages which haunt many manufacturing industries even in 2023. In fact, when KPMG asked some of the biggest manufacturing companies in the world to comment at the start of 2022 on what the biggest expected challenges were, the overall summary indicated that a resilient supply chain was one of the biggest concerns for CEOs across the world, not to mention the need to quickly and correctly invest in new technologies that would help avoid business disruptions in the future.

20 largest manufacturing companies in the world
20 largest manufacturing companies in the world

Suwin/Shutterstock.com

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Of course, 2022 turned out to be a year very different from expectations, as rising inflation and interest rates impacted many countries globally and resulted in a downturn in economic and manufacturing activity. The war between Russia and Ukraine further added to geopolitical uncertainty and to concerns for some of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. In a similar report by KPMG at the start of 2023, while most manufacturing companies' CEOs expected their profits to continue to grow, most also expected to be challenged by significant headwinds in 2023. Despite the challenges that are almost certain to occur in 2023, optimism still dominated the thought of major manufacturing corporations, with confidence higher now for growth in the next 3 years as well. On the other hand, confidence regarding the global economy's short-term performance has unsurprisingly taken a significant hit as inflation has impacted demand and many economies are expected to either greatly slow down or even enter a recession in 2023.

The vast majority of the companies included in KPMG's report stated their plans to improve productivity as they attempt to weather what they hope is a short-term economic downturn. Some manufacturing industries such as aerospace & defense are still expected to benefit from recent events as curtailment of restrictions has resulted in greater travel and hence, higher demand for aircraft orders, while geopolitical uncertainty has led to greater defense spending which is why some of the biggest defense contractors in the world in 2022 saw an improvement in their share price.

While different industries have varying outlooks, it is interesting to consider the outlook of the automotive industry considering that eight of the top 20 manufacturing companies in the world are automotive manufacturers. One of the largest manufacturing companies in the world, Volkswagen, mentioned it in the company's Q4 2022 earnings transcript call "Looking a little bit ahead what’s happened in our industry. The industry was basically supply side driven for 2 or 3 years. We had not enough semi supply. We’re still restricted with the semi supply, but that semi supply will improve throughout the year. And on the other hand, we have the macroeconomic situation, interest rates, inflation. And so what I expected at, let’s say, two or three that demand is slowing down and the supply is improving. So I expect Q3, where demand and supply will meet and that better supply that will be true for all of the companies. So there will be more competition. And this is what I said, we’re preparing for that. We see high raw material prices. We see other price increase, and it will be more difficult to pass on these price increases to the customer."

To determine the 20 largest manufacturing companies in the world, we considered top manufacturing companies in Fortune Global 500 and ranked them based on their latest TTM (trailing twelve month) revenue. For private companies, we have relied on the latest data from Fortune 500. So, let's take a look at the companies which together account for nearly $3.7 trillion in revenue, starting with:

20. Huawei

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $93.4

The controversial Chinese technology company has been banned in many countries amid concerns of spying for the Chinese government but is still among the largest manufacturers in the world.

19. China Baowu Steel Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $97.6

China is the largest steel producing country in the world by a distance and China Baowu Steel Group is the largest steel producer in the country, and the world. The company has joined Rio Tinto to invest $2 billion in an iron ore mine in Pilbara.

18. Hengli Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $100.8

Engaged in oil refininf, polyesters and textiles, Hengli Group operates the biggest terephthalic acid factory in the world. Recently, Hengli Group took over the assets of STX Dalian, the Chinese arm of South Korea's STX Group.

17. FAW Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $101.1

While FAW is present in over 100 countries across the world, most of its sales come from being one of the "Big-four" car company producers in China, and produced over 3.5 million units in 2021. In Q1 2023, FAW exported 15,000 vehicles, an increase of 125% year-on-year.

16. China Minmetals

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $102.0

Engaged in the production of minerals and metals, China Minmetals is a state-owned company which is the nation's largest such company. One of the biggest concerns for China Minmetals right now is protests in Peru which have nearly halted activities on its huge copper mine in the country.

15. Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE:DELL)

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $102.3

One of the biggest laptop and personal computer producers in the world, Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE:DELL) employs nearly 160,000 employees. Currently, Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE:DELL) operates in over 180 countries across the world.

14. SAIC Motor

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $109.7

SAIC Motor is one of the largest car producers in China, and delivered over 300,000 units in February 2023, a year-on-year growth of 26.6%.

13. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC)

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $124.4

One of the largest companies by revenue in Japan, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE:HMC) is working on developing anti-topple technology to ensure the end of low-speed drops on its motorbikes, an important development for the biggest bike producer in the world.

12. Mercedes-Benz Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $124.4

One of the largest manufacturers in Germany, Mercedes-Benz Group has been making a smoother transition than most to electric vehicle production. The company has also partnered with Sila to boost its battery energy density and until recently, was also the most valuable car company in the world.

11. China Railway and Engineering Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $129.9

The largest manufacturer in the largest manufacturing country in the world, China Railway and Engineering Group is currently in talks with Myanmar to continue the resumption of work on a railway whose length exceeds 1,000 km.

10. BMW

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $131.5

Known for its luxury cars and motorcycles, BMW is an oft-quoted prime example of German engineering. Currently, BMW is in talks with Tesla, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TSLA) battery supplies to start new plants in the U.S.

9. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $156.7

Automotive companies maintain a heavy presence in our list of the largest manufacturing companies in the world, and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) also has the dubious record of being counted among the largest bankruptcies in American history.

8. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $158.1

The largest car company in America, Ford Motor Company's (NYSE:F) sales jumped 10% in Q1 2023 with the Mustang and its F-series Truck largely responsible for the jump.

7. Mitsubishi Group

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $160.6

One of the largest groups in Japan, Mitsubishi is also among the largest manufacturing companies in the world, and is considered to be a world leader in product development and process technology.

6. Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH)

Total TTM revenue (in billions): $193.0

One of the largest healthcare companies in the world by market cap, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) has been exploring the sale of its nuclear medicine unit amid a larger review of its overall business. Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) has also been one of the top performers in the medical distribution industry, gaining 16.4% in share price in the last 6 months.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 largest manufacturing companies in the world.

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Disclosure: None. 20 largest manufacturing companies in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.