• 05.06.10

Infographic of the Day: The Tangled Web of Carmaker Alliances

Among today’s automakers, coop-petition is the new normal.


Cars are a fiercely competitive industry. But these days, major automakers often have to rely on a little help from their erstwhile enemies. With margins so slim, it only makes sense that car companies lean on each other to spread the risks of expansion and cut costs. This infographic by the Financial Times reveals just how far-reaching–and deep–these relationships have become.


You can actually glean quite a bit of insight into the corporate strategies of these companies just by looking at the graph. For example, Daimler of course builds Mercedes–but they also recognize that, with the rise of small cars and emerging markets, luxury cars are only a tiny fraction of the potential market. So they’ve teamed up with other companies, to get a piece of that growth:

carmaker alliances

Nissan has been growing rapidly, but they’re also trying to build a more sustainable base by supplying parts to all sorts of carmakers and bootstrapping themselves into new markets via partnerships:

carmaker alliances

Play with the entire, interactive chart here.

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.