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11 Chinese billionaires on auto list

2014-04-18 09:37 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Si Huan

China has 11 billionaires — the most — in the global auto industry, according to a report released by the Hurun Research Institute Thursday.

They feature on the list of the Richest People From the Car Industry 2014 compiled by the institute and released ahead of the country's biggest auto show which opens on Sunday in Beijing.

The list also includes 45 billionaires from 13 countries, who are engaged in car production, car parts and car retailing. Each of them has a threshold of US$1 billion worth of personal assets as of January 17.

Wei Jianjun, founder and chairman of Great Wall, which makes China's best-selling SUV, Hover, leads the Chinese billionaires on the list. Globally he is ranked fifth with a fortune of US$7.6 billion. He also holds the title as the world's richest self-made car entrepreneur.

He is followed by Lu Guanqiu and his family of Wanxiang Group, the biggest auto parts maker in China, with US$4.5 billion. Lu acquired Fisker Automobile earlier this year for US$25 million and bought the US lithium battery producer A123 last year.

Wang Chuanfu, founder of Warren Buffett-backed new-energy carmaker BYD, ranks third among Chinese billionaires on the list with US$4 billion.

Germany and US tie for second place with eight individuals. Japan, despite its strong auto industry, surprisingly does not feature in the world's auto billionaire club, whose average fortune is US$3.75 billion.

The top three on the list, Susanne Klatten, Stefan Quant and Johanna Quantare, all come from Germany's car producing giant BMW of which they own nearly half.

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of electric carmaking startup Tesla, is the fastest riser in the auto industry. His wealth surged 3.4 times to US$6.6 billion last year, putting him at No. 7 on the list.

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