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.
[Source: Detroit News]