“DaimlerChrysler could also be there, depending on what it does with Mitsubishi, which has representation in 80 per cent of the world market, compared with Mercedes-Benz, which is at the top of the tree,” he says. But a question mark hangs over the future of Ford.
“Ford Motor Company is facing its biggest crisis since 1931, but it won't be able to use the same solution it used in 1931, which was to sell more cars in Europe,” says Rhys, who adds: “Will the Volkswagen Group be there? Probably.”
Currently, global market share varies with a strong emphasis on domestic loyalty. Ford is top in the UK but VW heads the chart in Germany. In France it's Renault, in Italy Fiat, in the USA General Motors and Toyota in Japan.
“There are different leaders in different markets so creating a European average is meaningless. As markets become fragmented there is no clear leader so competition intensifies,” says Rhys.
He believes more vehicles will be made in the next 20 years than in the 110-year history of the industry. The increase in demand will call for 180 new assembly plants.