The 25 richest families in the world now control almost $1.4 trillion in wealth, up 24 percent from last year. Photo: AP

INTERNATIONAL - Siblings Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt own almost half of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.

The billionaires are descendants of Guenther Quandt, who built a German industrial empire by, among other things, supplying weapons to the Nazis during World War II. In the years since, the family has established stakes in both Daimler-Benz AG and BMW.

Today, Klatten is Germany’s second-richest person, worth $18.6 billion, with interests in chemicals and carbon production, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Quandt, who owns part of a logistics company and a homeopathic medicine company, has a net worth of $15.5 billion. Both are members of BMW’s supervisory board, making them the richest related pair deriving wealth from the automotive industry. 

All told, the 25 richest families in the world now control almost $1.4 trillion in wealth, up 24 percent from last year. Our list of the 20 wealthiest people who have made fortunes in the automotive sector includes some household names: Tesla’s Elon Musk is worth $23.1 billion; Larry Ellison, with $58.5 billion in total wealth, owns a stake in Tesla that’s worth more than $730 million.

Others are less prominent but no less successful: Pallonji Mistry, chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, owns much of Tata Sons and is worth $20.3 billion; Li Shu Fu, the chairman of Volvo and Geely, is worth $10.6 billion.

The Method 

The methodology behind wealth analysis can be challenging. In fortunes backed by decades of accumulated assets and dividends, the true extent of an individual’s or family’s holdings is often obscured. Most in this tax bracket are not thrilled to have their names, assets, shares, and interests published by a global news organization. Automotive wealth also tends to be a family affair. While individual members of these dynasties may not make the list, a clan’s overall wealth may be vast. (See: the Ford,  Porsche, and Pieech families.)  So we followed the same criteria applied to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.  

In order to keep it (relatively) simple, we have omitted those whose wealth comes from oil. Take the House of Saud, for instance. The family is worth an estimated $100 billion, a figure based on the cumulative payouts the country’s royals have received over the past five decades from the executive office of the king. That number doesn’t even include the planned initial public offering of its crown jewel, oil giant Saudi Aramco. It will be offered with an anticipated valuation of $2 trillion.

Maybe we’ll come up with a special list for members of the House of Saud. In the meantime, here are the year’s richest people in cars.* 

* Stake value and percent of net worth figures are as of July 19, 2019. Total wealth figures are as of Oct. 9, 2019.

1. Bill Gates 
Company: AutoNation Inc.
Stake Value: $914,554,258
Percent of Total Net Worth: .9 percent
Total Wealth: $105 billion
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Segment: Car dealers

2. Larry Ellison 
Company: Tesla Inc.
Stake Value: $730,773,000 to $1 billion
Percent of Total Net Worth: 1.3 percent
Total Wealth: $58.5 billion
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Segment: Passenger vehicles

3. Elon Musk  
Company: Tesla Inc.
Stake Value: $8,307,076,693
Percent of Total Net Worth: 36.9 percent
Total Wealth: $22.9 billion
Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Segment: Passenger vehicles

4. Pallonji Mistry
Company: Tata Motors Ltd.
Stake Value: $302,722,710
Percent of Total Net Worth: 1.5 percent
Total Wealth: $19.7 billion
Location: Mumbai
Segment: Passenger vehicles

5. Susanne Klatten 
Company: BMW AG 
Stake Value: $8,763,327,399
Percent of Total Net Worth: 47.8 percent
Total Wealth: $18 billion
Location: Munich
Segment: Passenger vehicles

6. Stefan Quandt 
Company: BMW AG
Stake Value: $10,817,887,438
Percent of Total Net Worth: 72.2 percent
Total Wealth: $14.8 billion
Location: Munich
Segment: Passenger vehicles

7. Li Shu Fu 
Company No. 1: Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.
Stake Value: $38,988,918
Percent of Total Net Worth: .4 percent
Location: Hangzhou, China
Segment: Passenger Vehicles

Company No. 2: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Stake Value: $10,520,321,446
Percent of Total Net Worth: 99.9 percent
Total Wealth: $10.6 billion
Location: Hangzhou, China
Segment: Auto manufacturing

8. Georg Schaeffler 
Company No. 1: Continental AG
Stake Value: $9,494,765,020
Percent of Total Net Worth: 110.4 percent*
Location: Hanover, Germany
Segment: Auto parts

Company No. 2: Schaeffler AG
Stake Value: $3,116,322,400
Percent of Total Net Worth: 36.2 percent
Total Wealth: $7.99 billion
Location: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Segment: Auto parts

9. Blair Parry-Okeden   
Company: Cox Automotive
Stake Value: $1,738,541,209
Percent of Total Net Worth: 21.6 percent
Total Wealth: $7.84 billion
Location: Atlanta
Segment: Automotive services  

10. James Kennedy 
Company: Cox Automotive
Stake Value: $1,738,541,209
Percent of Total Net Worth: 21.6 percent
Total Wealth: $7.84 billion
Location: Atlanta
Segment: Automotive services

11. James Pattison  
Company: James Pattison Group
Stake Value: $48,327,817
Percent of Total Net Worth: .8 percent
Total Wealth: $6.35 billion
Location: Vancouver
Segment: Car dealers

12. Ernie Garcia    
Company No. 1: Carvana Co.
Stake Value: $4,060,262,827
Percent of Total Net Worth: 67.4 percent
Location: Tempe, Ariz.
Segment: Used car dealers

Company No. 2: DriveTime
Stake Value: $1,005,999,251
Percent of Total Net Worth: 16.7%
Total Wealth: $4.93 billion
Location: Tempe, Ariz.
Segment: Used car dealers and financing

13. Hiroshi Mikitani
Company: Trust Co Ltd.
Stake Value: $234,488
Percent of Total Net Worth: Negligible
Total Wealth: $5.87 billion
Location: Nagoya, Japan
Segment: Automotive retail

14. Margaretta Taylor 
Company: Cox Automotive
Stake Value: $1,150,111,876
Percent of Total Net Worth: 21.6 percent
Total Wealth: $5.18 billion
Location: Atlanta
Segment: Automotive services  

15. James Cox Chambers 
Company: Cox Automotive
Stake Value: $1,150,111,876
Percent of Total Net Worth: 21.6 percent
Total Wealth: $5.18 billion
Location: Atlanta
Segment: Automotive services

16. Katharine Rayner  
Company: Cox Automotive
Stake Value: $1,150,111,876
Percent of Total Net Worth: 21.6 percent
Total Wealth: $5.18 billion
Location: Atlanta
Segment: Automotive services

17. Quek Leng Chan 
Company No. 1: Hong Leong Asia Ltd.
Stake Value: $5,103,369
Percent of Total Net Worth: .1 percent
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Segment: Auto parts

Company No. 2: Hong Leong Industries Bhd.
Stake Value: $291,110,648
Percent of Total Net Worth: 5.5 percent
Total Wealth: $5.27 billion
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Segment: Motorbikes and parts

18. Rahul Bajaj 
Company No. 1: Bajaj Finance Ltd.
Stake Value: $586,320,006
Percent of Total Net Worth: 12.4 percent
Location: Pune, India
Segment: Auto financing

Company No. 2: Bajaj Auto Ltd.
Stake Value: $1,208,532,867
Percent of Total Net Worth: 25.5 percent
Total Wealth: $5.2 billion
Location: Pune, India
Segment: Motorbikes and parts

19. Chung Mong-Koo 
Company No. 1: Hyundai Motor Co.
Stake Value: $1,269,429,178
Percent of Total Net Worth: 27.9 percent
Location: Seoul
Segment: Passenger vehicles

Company No. 2: Hyundai Mobis Co.
Stake Value: $1,408,455,597
Percent of Total Net Worth: 30.9 percent
Total Wealth: $4.5 billion
Location: Seoul
Segment: Automotive technology

20. Wang Chuan-Fu 
Company: BYD Co.
Stake Value: $3,522,094,647
Percent of Total Net Worth: 82.4 percent
Location: Shenzhen, China
Segment: Passenger vehicles

Company: BYD Co Ltd.
Stake Value: $4,993,622
Percent of Total Net Worth: .1 percent
Total Wealth: $4.11 billion
Location: Shenzhen, China
Segment: Passenger vehicles

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