Top automotive suppliers worldwide
Although motor vehicles are typically sold under a brand name, virtually all automotive manufacturing companies restrict themselves to designing and assembling automotive parts or component groups, most of which are provided by external suppliers. The auto parts that are likely to be manufactured by automotive supplier firms include exteriors, interiors and air conditioning components, electrical and electronic equipment, vehicle chassis and powertrains.
In light of growing environmental awareness and an increasing desire to connect vehicles to the internet, automotive suppliers are faced with a variety of new challenges. Market trends such as the shift to lighter materials, as well as the trend towards electric vehicles and alternative fuel powertrains are set to shake up the automotive industry. It is expected that automotive suppliers will respond to changing market trends by increased spending on research and development activities.
In 2014, the ranking of the world’s largest automotive suppliers was dominated by European and Asian manufacturers. The list was topped by Germany’s Continental AG. The company engages in the manufacturing of brake systems, tires, tachographs, engine injection systems and vehicle stability control systems. Continental is one of the world's largest tire manufacturers. Following a takeover bid in 2009, Schaeffler AG became Continental’s controlling shareholder. The manufacturer of roller bearings owns just under 50 percent of Continental shares.