Some familiar faces

Auto industry hold few spots on Forbes' wealthiest list

Forbes' auto ties
Rank Name Worth Tie to the industry
29 Kirk Kerkorian $5.3 billion DCX shareholder
67 Jack Crawford Taylor 2.8 billion Enterprise Rent-A-Car
97 H. Wayne Huizenga 2 billion AutoNation chairman
158 Billy Joe "Red" McCombs 1.4 billion Dealer
172 James Moran 1.3 billion Dealer
189 William Clay Ford 1.2 billion Ford Motor Co.
296 Richard Manoogian 880 million Masco Corp.
391 Thomas Friedkin 600 million Dealer

It pays to be a dealer.

It's not so bad being an investor, either. Makers are in short supply.

That, in a nutshell, is how the auto industry fared in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans, published Sept. 27. Four of the eight magnates with auto ties are dealers, while a fifth started a rental car company in the 1950s. One's a Ford. At the top is an investor who has proven to be a thorn in the side of DaimlerChrysler AG.

As in years past, those who forged a home early in the technology market dominated the top spots, lead by the $54-billion man, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. The magazine said it calculated wealth based on the market close of Aug. 27. Forbes said that two weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Gates' wealth fell to $46.8 billion.

The auto industry has its own billionaires.

Kirk Kerkorian topped that list. The Las Vegas gaming giant and major DaimlerChrysler investor came in 29th on the Forbes list with $5.3 billion. Kerkorian is suing DaimlerChrysler for $8 billion, claiming Daimler-Benz AG's acquisition of Chrysler was in essence an act of fraud. Kerkorian was Chrysler's second largest shareholder before the takeover.

Jack Crawford Taylor, founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, bowed in at 67th with an estimated $2.8 billion. He was followed by AutoNation Chairman and founder H. Wayne Huizenga at $2 billion.

Huizenga leads a string of well-to-do dealers, including the Minnesota Vikings' owner Billy Joe "Red" McCombs at $1.4 billion; Toyota dealer giant James Moran, $1.3 billion; and Thomas Friedkin, at $600 million, chairman of the company that runs Gulf States Toyota, an independent distributorship in Texas.

Also on the list are Detroit Lions' owner William Clay Ford, $1.2 billion, grandson of Henry Ford and father of Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr.; and, Richard Manoogian, $800 million, a Ford board member and Metaldyne director who inherited Masco Corp. from his father and built the Michigan company into a multi-billion dollar home improvement and building giant.

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