Didn't know automakers spent that much...only Pfizer is in the top 5! They are probably the most profitable too since GM and Ford aren't making that much...and DaimlerChrysler had to split. I would have thought that computers would have been number 1...and this article says that only happened recently.
According to a European Commission report, Ford is the car industry's biggest spender on R&D. Ford was number one until this year, but got outspent by pharmaceutical company Pfizer. (The Blue Oval vs. the blue pill...who knew?) Ford spent somewhere between $7.4 billion and $8.2 billion dollars developing its product line.
Carmakers have generally owned the top positions in the world's R&D expenditures. As recently as 2004, the top five R&D spenders were Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Pfizer, and GM. The pharmaceutical and tech sectors have raised their spends by the greatest percentage, though, and now only Ford remains in the top four. Europe's biggest automotive R&D spender was DaimlerChrysler at $7.34 billion. We would be really interested to get the breakdown in Ford's spend, specifically to see how much goes to its European models vs. American models.