Billionaires list confirms it: There's money in the car biz
Forbes magazine says there are 1,342 billionaires in the world, and by our count about 25 either made most of their money in the car business or have made a big splash in the auto world since getting megarich.
Three car dealers turned up on Forbes' annual super-rich list: Norman Braman of Miami (net worth, $1.6 billion); Red McCombs of San Antonio ($1.3 billion); and Tom Benson of New Orleans ($1.2 billion).
Billionaire dealers like sports franchises. Benson owns the New Orleans Saints and Hornets; Braman once owned the Philadelphia Eagles; and McCombs has bought and sold the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings.
But so do aristocrats and supplier barons. Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr. ($1.25 billion) is the only Ford family member on the billionaire registry. Shahid Khan ($2.9 billion), owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, is the richest parts maker on the list. Khan, who built Flex-N-Gate into a car bumper behemoth, out-placed car interiors tycoon Wilbur Ross ($2.6 billion), German ball bearings barons Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler and son Georg Schaeffler ($2.2 billion), and Magna founder Frank Stronach ($1.2 billion).
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who made his first fortune selling PayPal to eBay in 2002, punched in at ($2.7 billion).
Forbes listed a few Chinese auto billionaires, including Wei Jianjun ($5.3 billion), chairman of Great Wall Motor; Wang Chuanfu ($2.3 billion), chairman of BYD; and Li Shufu, who heads Geely-Volvo ($2.2 billion).
One Korean made the list: Chung Eui-San ($2.2 billion), the eldest son of Hyundai Motors chairman Chung Mong- koo and a company vice president.
Tom Friedkin, founder of Gulf States Toyota, which has exclusive rights to sell Toyotas in Texas and four other states, is worth $1.7 billion.
Dealer giant and speed merchant Roger Penske was clocked at $1.2 billion. Russian car guy Vladimir Scherbakov, at $1.1 billion, controls Avtotor Holding, the second-biggest carmaker in Russia.
Who are the richest of the auto billionaires? German Susanne Klatten ($14.3 billion) ranked 58th on the Forbes list. Her brother, Stefan Quandt ($11.9 billion), was 87th, and their mother, Johanna Quandt ($10.6 billion), was 100th. Johanna Quandt, 86, is the widow of Herbert Quandt, who saved BMW from ruin a half century ago.