Toyota Motor Corp. has been deemed as the market capitalization leader in 2011. Volkswagen AG follows in the second spot, rising from its fourth position in 2010. The market capitalization of Toyota dropped from $127.3 billion at the end of 2010 to $99.8 billion last year, generally attributable to the major earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March and disrupted its worldwide production for several months.
While the automaker's value to investors was second to none again last year, its position at the top of the worldwide vehicle sales chart is at serious risk, as General Motors Corp. and VW are set to outperform Toyota once the final results are in.
Meanwhile, the market cap of VW rose from $66.0 billion in 2010 to $70.1 billion last year based on the statistics from Morgan Stanley investment bank. The 6% increase was sufficient to outperform Honda Motor Co. and Daimler AG.
It was also enough to halve the lead that Toyota had versus VW in 2010. VW's rise was attributable to the substantial worldwide growth of all its brands. On the other hand, Daimler, Honda and Toyota experienced adverse effects of natural disasters or economic factors.
The market cap of Honda was also damaged by the Japan disasters, just like Toyota. It dropped from $70.7 billion in 2010 to $52.6 billion last year. The automaker held on to its No. 3 spot from 2010 despite the challenges it faced.
As for Daimler, market cap slipped to No. 5 in 2011 from No. 2 in 2010 due to the slow sales of heavy trucks. Its decline was so sharp that BMW AG pulled ahead of its competitor $42.7 billion to $42.3 billion.All in all, the total market cap value of the 10 biggest carmakers in the world dropped from $612.3 billion in 2010 to $478.3 billion last year. [source: Autonews]