Denso Corp. became the world's largest auto-parts supplier based on sales in 2009 thanks partly to increased sales in Europe last year, according to Automotive News Europe data. The Japanese supplier was joined by BASF SE and Schaeffler Group as the only partsmakers in ANE's top-30 ranking to improve sales in Europe in 2009.
Overall, sales in Europe by suppliers in the top 30 declined 25.4 percent to $130.2 billion from $174.5 billion in 2008. (Click on Top 30 PDF, below right)
Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH was No. 1 in the ranking despite a 31 percent decline to $14.6 billion. Continental AG of Germany was No. 2 and France's Faurecia SA rounded out the top 3.
Rising in the ranking
Denso's sales to European automakers rose 3.5 percent last year to about $3.5 billion. This gain pushed Denso, a supplier of fuel systems, radiators, air conditioners and electronics, up to No. 13 in the ranking from 19th in 2008.
The increase also helped Denso pass Bosch to become the world's biggest supplier based on total sales. Bosch's 2009 global sales to automakers fell 24 percent to $25.62 billion. Denso's fiscal-year sales rose 3 percent to $28.73 billion.
Denso's sales to European automakers were helped in 2009 by increased business with Fiat S.p.A., the company said.
BASF, a supplier of coatings, catalysts, engineered plastics and polyurethanes, finished 2009 ranked No. 14 because of a 45.6 percent rise in its sales to $3.4 billion. The German paint specialist did not appear in the ANE ranking in 2008.
Schaeffler, which is based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, climbed up to No. 30 in 2009 after not being ranked in 2008. The German maker of anti-friction bearings as well as engine, chassis and transmission components boosted sales 2 percent to $1.4 billion.
Suppliers provided most of the data for the ranking. Some companies' sales were estimated. The numbers do not include non-automotive, aftermarket or heavy-duty truck sales. Sales are in dollars, translated when necessary from other currencies.