Batting 1000 for third straight year

A few notes on this years IndustryWeek 1000, our third annual listing of the worlds largest publicly held manufacturing companies:

* By some measures, the worlds manufacturing landscape looks vastly different from a year ago, as the IW 1000 not only welcomes 80 new companies, but also reflects significant changes in rank among its constituent companies. In particular, financial and economic problems in Asia stalled growth for many firms in that region. In just one example of the currency shock wave that has devastated Pacific Rim manufacturing, South Koreas largest automobile manufacturer, Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., watched its revenues fall 40% in two years -- from $12.4 billion before devaluation in 1995 to $7.8 billion in 1997.

In addition, changes in companies fiscal reporting affected the rankings for 1998. ABB Group, one of the worlds largest corporations, qualified for the IW 1000 this year following a change in the way in which the firm reports its financials.

Mergers and acquisitions also reshaped the IW 1000, adding some companies and subtracting others. Elementis PLC and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., for instance, joined the worlds largest manufacturers because of the acquisitions of Harrisons & Crosfield and Arcadian Corp., respectively. On the other hand, Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. left the IW 1000 following its acquisition by Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. And stay tuned for even more changes next year: A spate of pending and announced corporate combinations, such as the planned merger between Chrysler Corp. and Daimler-Benz AG, will alter the manufacturing landscape again.

* By another measure, the worlds manufacturing landscape looks fundamentally the same as it did a year ago. Based on companies listed in this years IW 1000, the U.S. continues to manufacture almost twice as much wealth as any other country, with U.S. companies on the list generating more than $3 trillion in 1997 revenues.

* To make the IW 1000 valuable all year long, we have posted a searchable, sortable version of the IW 1000 on our Web site, www.industryweek.com.

* No project the size of the IW 1000 can be completed without a cast of, if not thousands, then at least 50 professionals from IW and our research data partners, Dun & Bradstreet and Moodys Investors Service, two companies of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp. The IW 1000 team -- led by Associate Editor Glenn Hasek -- worked in close cooperation with the following partners professionals:

From Dun & Bradstreet: Mike Azzi, manager, public relations; Dave Monfried, vice president, public relations; Tom Shaw, assistant vice president, operations and infrastructure; Cort Steel, senior consultant, marketing; John Zima, director, WorldBase Consultative Services.

From Moodys Investors Service: Ricardo Angel, research analyst; Erik L. Fine, associate director, global fundamental data; Jeffrey M. Zazzaro, manager, global fundamental data.

Send e-mail messages to John Brandt at [email protected]

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