Looks like Toyota will be world’s 2nd largest automaker, VW 1st

Akio Toyoda - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Toyota may lose the title World’s Largest Automaker to Volkswagen by the end of 2015. As of May, Toyota’s worldwide production is down 4 percent, while Volkswagen is up a tiny 0.2%.

World’s Largest Automakers
5 Month 2014
Jan-May 2015 Jan-May 2014 YoY 2015 proj.
Toyota 4,118,404 4,288,082 -4.0% 9,884,000
Volkswagen 4,200,000 4,190,000 0.2% 10,080,000
GM 4,033,333 4,026,713 0.2% 9,680,000
Source: Company data. GM, VW: Deliveries. Toyota: Production.
Blue: Estimate

As of May, Volkswagen already is nearly 82,000 units ahead of Toyota. If the current trajectories are maintained, Volkswagen could close out the year some 200,000 units ahead of Toyota.

It appears as if global production of automobiles is peaking, something that has been predicted by Toyota a while ago. By going extremely easy in the CAPEX, Toyota booked record profits in 2014, and is predicting similar performance for the current year. For Volkswagen, the title will be very costly. The company is discounting heavily to prop up sales.

Note: Dailykanban.com tracks production, not sales, because this is how the world automaker umbrella organization OICA ranks automakers.

Toyota reports both sales and production, we take production. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which is, at least for this exercise, close enough to production. GM did the same, but begun reporting retail sales for the Chinese market. GM also reports only quarterly. They May number is an extrapolation.