Investment consulting firm Morgan Stanley has issued a report that says Toyota, Honda and BMW are "truly great global car companies." Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Mazda and Volkswagen are "almost great," says the report.

Morgan Stanley says it embarked on the report seven months ago to present a comprehensive view of 21 industries' competitive landscape, country by country.

In the automotive section, Toyota, Honda and BMW stand out because over the last decade each gained market share and maintained above-average returns on investment.

"Toyota and Honda have succeeded by continuously focusing on cost, both from a product development and production viewpoint, while using quality to differentiate their products in the global market," the report states. "BMW has gone a step further, finding the `holy grail,' a premium product that commands premium pricing in markets around the world."

The new report says Ford, GM, Mazda and Volkswagen have yet to break into the ranks of global competitiveness, but show significant potential.

Morgan Stanley recognizes Lear Corp., Tenneco Automotive, TRW and Johnson Controls Inc. as suppliers that are likely to be successful in the worldwide automotive market due to their size, global reach and profitability.