According to an April report from Ernst & Young, BMW, with an earnings before interest and taxes profit margin of 10 percent, and Daimler, with 8.4 percent, were the world’s most profitable car companies in 2016.
The German companies were ahead of Toyota (7.8 percent), the world’s largest car company in terms of sales and operating profit. German manufacturers also narrowed the gap with their Japanese rivals from a difference of 83.4 billion euros (89 billion U.S. dollars) of sales in 2015 to 41.1 billion euros in 2016. German manufacturer (BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen) sales rose from 454.9 billion euros in 2015 to 464.7 billion euros in 2016, whereas Japanese manufacturer (Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki and Toyota) sales fell from 538.3 billion euros to 505.8 billion euros.
Over the same period, the operating profit gap between German and Japanese manufacturers fell from 21.5 billion euros to 3.5 billion euros.
The German companies’ average margin rose from 4.1 percent to 6.3 percent, while the Japanese fell from 7.6 percent to 6.5 percent. Meanwhile, German manufacturer’ sales to China grew 13 percent, faster than manufacturers from any other country.Only half of the manufacturers recorded a profit last year. Profits in the industry overall rose 5 percent. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollars) .