After we published the Drone Service Provider Ranking 2020 last week, the global Drone Manufacturer Ranking 2020 follows with optimized evaluation criteria, as well as a listing of the world’s leading drone manufacturers.
The Drone Manufacturer Ranking 2020
About the Report
The report is an assessment of over 430 global companies whose core business is to manufacture drones. They are further classified into Top 40 commercial drone manufacturers and the Top 20 dual-use drone manufacturers (drones for commercial and governmental use).
The report also includes a comprehensive database of 430+ drone manufacturers with company information (but not ranked). Companies manufacturing drones for exclusive military uses are not listed.
Prosumer Multirotors: The top positions in the ranking are occupied by manufacturers of multirotor drones in the prosumer sector, namely drones up to a price of $10,000 USD. These companies are already serving a broad market and are therefore able to scale their business.
Many niche suppliers: Behind the large market players such as DJI and Yuneec, companies follow that either manufacture professional solutions for the most common industries (e.g. Energy, Construction, etc.) or for very specific niche applications.
The military market as financier: Manufacturers in the dual-use segment often show a strong tendency towards the military market. In the past, companies in this sector were often able to conclude contracts worth millions with defense or other governmental ministries.
Industry leader China: China shows its dominance with seven companies in the top 20 ranking of the world’s commercial drone manufacturers. The dual-use sector is rather dominated by US drone manufacturers.
Top 3 Commercial Drone Manufacturers
#1 DJI: The Chinese manufacturer DJI is the undisputed leader of commercial drone manufacturers and ranks 1st, regardless of the recent accusations of espionage by the U.S. military and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Between 70-80% of market share in the worldwide commercial sector speaks for itself.
#2 Yuneec: In 2nd place is another Chinese drone manufacturer: Yuneec. The company started out as a manufacturer of remote-controlled hobby aircraft. They then developed from a supplier of recreational drones to one of the largest manufacturers of commercial drones. Today, the H520 and Typhoon H, in their various versions, are among the world’s best-selling drone models.
#3 Parrot Drones: Despite difficult years with staff layoffs and continued sales declines, Parrot Drones, as part of the Parrot Group, is still one of the world’s largest manufacturers. Like many other manufacturers, Parrot is using the current opportunity in the U.S. to offer its products to governmental entities (like the U.S. Army or the Defences Innovation Unit).
Depending on the sales volume, we might see them (and other players) in the dual-use category soon.
Top 3 Dual-Use Drone Manufacturers
#1 AeroVironment: 1st place in the ranking of dual-use manufacturers is taken by the American drone manufacturer AeroVironment. The company was able to increase its revenues by 17% (compared to the fiscal year 2019) to $367.3 million USD in the fiscal year 2020. The increase in revenues was primarily due to a $44.7 million increase in product sales and a $8.3 million increase in service revenues.
#2 Insitu: The runner-up, Insitu, which Boeing acquired in 2008 for a reported purchase price of around $400 million USD, faced some difficulties in 2019 when it had to cut jobs to remain competitive. Nevertheless, with its widely used military platforms ScanEagle and RQ-21A Blackjack, Insitu is one of the most important drone manufacturers worldwide.
#3 Aeronautics: The Israelian drone manufacturer Aeronautics comes 3rd in the dual-use drone manufacturer ranking. Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems acquired a 50% stake at the end of 2019. Aeronautics is greatly benefiting from their expertise in the fields of surveillance and reconnaissance
The hardware market is dominated by Chinese companies for commercial drones and US manufacturers for commercial and dual-use drones. In the commercial prosumer market, there is no way around DJI, which can maintain its supremacy in the commercial prosumer market through innovative products and smart strategic partnerships.
But there are also other great manufacturers from all over the world, which mainly serve niche markets and/or specialize in highly professional drones. These high-end drones are particularly important for safety-critical and highly demanding jobs. If you are interested in how the drone market is going to develop, the Drone Market Report 2020-2025 might also be of interest to you.
Lukas holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering as well as a Masters in International Business Administration and Engineering. During his education he was involved several consulting and process optimization projects at MTU Aero Engines AG. At DRONEII he’s the go to voice on drones and AI.