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For many of us who love cars, we’d love to be at the helm of a car company. We’d love to greenlight the cars of our dreams, kill the dumpy ones, and be involved in the design and marketing of cool new models. But it’s a big job that combines every aspect of business, which means managing hundreds of thousands of employees, negotiating with suppliers, staying up-to-the-minute on technology, and planning deep into the future, and of course keeping shareholders happy. So what do the top executives at GM, Ford and Stellantis make in a year?

GM’s CEO Mary Barra made $28.9 million

GM CEO Mary Barra with the new Cadillac Celestiq
Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, speaks during the unveiling of the Cadillac Celestiq electric-sedan. | Frederic Brown via Getty Images

General Motors’ CEO and Chair Mary Barra is, again, the highest paid car company CEO with a total package of $28.9 million last year. According to SEC filings, she brought in only $2.1 million in salary, but her stock and options packages added $19 million while she earned $6.3 million in incentives and $1.1 million in “other” payments.

Since 2014 Barra has run GM and is overseeing its transition from gas-powered cars to a new electric future. She started working at GM when she was 18, when she started as a hood and fender inspector. Since then, she’s risen up the corporate ladder and today also sits on the board of directors of General Dynamics.

Ford’s CEO Jim Farley made $21 million in 2022

Ford CEO Jim Farley with the 2020 Mustang
Jim Farley, Ford CEO, with a 2020 Mustang | Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

Jim Farley greenlit the new Ford Raptor R and the Bronco, as well as the all-new 2024 Ford Mustang. Farley seems to have more fun than other CEOs, especially when you see him behind the wheel of one of the new Mustang race cars. But, Ford’s production was off in 2022 due to a variety of factors. He earned about $2 million less in 2022 than he did in 2021, but still made $21 million in 2022.

However, according to the Detroit Free Press, the median annual salary for all Ford employees is $74,691. However, UAW employees this year will share in some of Ford’s profit, which means $9,000 checks for each union member.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares made $24.8 million in 2022

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares with the electric Ram truck concept
Carlos Tavares, chief executive officer of Stellantis and the electric Ram 1500 Revolution | Bridget Bennett via Getty Images

Stellantis owns Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and many other brands. It’s CEO Carlos Tavares brought in $24.8 million in 2022. Fully $7.2 million of his salary was from a unique “recognition award” for his work on helping the company through its major merger that was approved in 2021 by shareholders. His annual salary is $2.1 million, however he earned $20.2 million in incentives and $2.5 million in pension contributions. Though $24.8 million sounds impressive, the outgoing CEO Mike Manley, who oversaw the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Stellantis, was paid an astounding $54.1 million.

In 2021, Tavares made about $21 million. But, the average Stellantis employee earned just $67,887 in 2022, however employees did get share in the company’s recent good fortune with additional profit-sharing checks of $14,760.


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