Posted on 01/23/2012
According to an article from www.WSJ.com, General Motor's (GM) sales announcement for 2011 lead to a dispute within the auto-industry on how to account for affiliate sales. The article stated that, "General Motors Co. on Thursday reported 2011 sales that appeared to show it once again seized the title of world's largest auto maker by volume, eclipsing Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) and setting off another auto-industry dust-up over how to count affiliate sales.". That is an increase of about 7.6% compared to 2010's sales for the company. However, Volkswagen quickly responded that their estimated 8.16 million sales total for 2011 did not include the sales of two trucking companies in which Volkswagen own a majority stake, which would consequently increase their total and perhaps give them enough to be named the world's largest auto maker.
A similar feud was had earlier this month between two luxury automotive manufactures, BMW (BAMXY) and Daimler-Chrysler's (DDAIF) Mercedes-Benz. Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive Consulting, was interviewed in the article, and perhaps she said it best, "It's sort of like when you have a lot of step-brothers and sisters and someone asks you how many siblings you have." While it still may be unclear which auto maker gets the bragging rights, we can, however, take a look at an ETF that packages several Automative companies together like Global X's Auto ETF (VROM). In terms of country exposure, the fund has its largest holdings in the US, Japan, and Germany. While both of the aforementioned luxury car companies, (BAMXY) and (DDAIF), are German companies, Germany accounts for about 20% of the ETF.