Dailykanban declares Toyota World’s Largest Automaker 2015

Number One

Number One

Nine months into the year, it becomes evident that in all likelihood, Volkswagen will once again miss its stated goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker. Nine months into the year, Toyota is nearly 100,000 units ahead of VW, with the gap expected to widen slightly by year-end.

World’s Largest Automakers
9 Month 2015
Jan-Sept 2015 Jan-Sept 2014 YoY 2015 proj.
Toyota 7,521,232 7,734,667 -2.8% 10,028,000
Volkswagen 7,430,800 7,541,800 -1.5% 9,908,000
GM 7,235,000 7,372,000 -1.9% 9,647,000
Source: Company data. GM, VW: Deliveries. Toyota: Production.  Blue: Estimate

Toyota produced 7.52 million units globally January-September 2015, down 2.8 percent from the same period in the year before, while the Volkswagen Group delivered 7.43 million units worldwide, vs. 7.54 million in 2014, a decrease of 1.5 percent. 3rd-up GM delivered 7.23 million units, down 1.9 percent. Tracking the current trajectories, Toyota is expected to report a hair more than 10 million units when the year ends, VW’s final numbers look like 9.9 million.

This is NOT an effect of dieselgate, even if the media will frame it like that. Beware of getting framed. Global auto production already has peaked. Toyota has stepped on the brakes of expansion a while ago. Volkswagen was goaded into reckless expansion. Much of its recent growth was paid with flesh-eating discounting, something the company could barely afford in the past, and something it definitely cannot afford in the future. Toyota’s  profit picture looks brighter than ever.

P.S.: If you call our announcement premature, then you are right: A lot can happen in two months. At least, we are less premature than the rest of the media that pronounced Volkswagen world’s largest automaker in July. 

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.