Study has carmakers in top 20 of innovations list image

If we asked around a few years ago, automotive companies would have been widely regarded as technological dinosaurs, with the spotlight usually pointing at the high-tech world of Silicon Valley. Well, today this is no longer the case, as a recent study has revealed.

For the first time since the 2005 study by the Boston Consulting Group was released, no less than nine of the 20 most innovative companies are revealed to be automakers, more than both the technology and telecom companies on the list, actually.

“Innovate or die,” the study stresses. And BCG analysts note the call for innovation is “backed up by investment, which has been rising significantly in recent years.”

In 2013, 85% of those considered to be “strong innovators” plan to increase their R&D budgets compared to 2012. Only 39% of “weak innovators” plan to grow their budgets. Apple is at the top position, followed by archrivals Samsung and Google, while Microsoft, in the midst of a frantic CEO search, places fourth.

And now comes the surprise, as BCG put Toyota at number five and two other automakers landed in the Top 10, eighth-ranked Ford, followed by BMW in ninth. GM went up from 29th last year to 13th, with Volkswagen following close behind at No.14. Honda took the 18th spot, closely followed by VW’s Audi subsidiary at 19. Meanwhile, Daimler AG returned to the Top 20 list in 20th place.