The 14th annual IW 1000 includes publicly traded manufacturing companies from 46 countries and the Chinese province of Taiwan. IndustryWeek partnered with Mergent Inc. to create the list. Led by Director of Equity Research Ricardo Angel, Mergent's global databases were used to identify all publicly held manufacturing firms meeting IndustryWeek's selection criteria. Erik L. Fine, a Charlotte, N.C.-based information consultant, oversaw the analysis and data-collection effort.
The actual cutoff for inclusion on this year's list was US$2.75 billion. Because all publicly traded manufacturing companies are eligible, a number of subsidiaries and associate companies that are publicly traded separately from their parent company made the list along with the parent.
Mergent collected the financial data elements directly from reports distributed by the corporations in their native currencies as reported in their headquarter countries according to national accounting standards. To accurately reflect the companies' core businesses, only revenue numbers from continuing operations were used.
Currency valuations in U.S. dollars were made using exchange rates as of Dec. 31, 2008. For companies that have recently changed their fiscal-year end, the most recent 12-month figures have been used.
Even with the worldwide economy tanking toward the end of last year, consumers bought enough cars and gas for their tanks to keep the oil and auto industries at the top of the IW 1000.