World’s Largest Automakers 2018: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi tops the list at halftime

Never has the race for World’s Largest Automaker been more exciting than this year. Separated by the thinnest if distances, the world’s top automakers are in a neck-on-neck competition. For a few months, Volkswagen Group was in the lead, but before the six month mark, dark horse Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance made a powerful spurt, and edged-out the Teutonic juggernaut.

With 5,550,571 units made in the first six months of the year, the Alliance is 31,571 units ahead of 2nd placed Volkswagen. The driver behind the success was Alliance-member Renault, which expanded its volume by nearly 10% in the first half of the year. Mitsubishi Motors again is the biggest percentage gainer of the Alliance, having produced nearly 24% more than in the same period last year. The Alliance could take the lead despite the drag introduced by Nissan, who’s production is 4.1% below last year’s levels.

For reasons listed below, Dailykanban tries its hardest to rank OEMs by production. Our Alliance number was confirmed today by an official Alliance statement that put the Alliance’s half-year SALES at 5,538,530 units.

Toyota is nearly 270,000 units behind 2nd place Volkswagen, and appears to be out of contention for this year’s top spot.

Note: This analysis attempts to track production, not sales, because this is how the world automaker umbrella organization OICA ranks automakers.

Due to the different methodologies of their measurement, “sales” numbers have proven to be unreliable, and prone to ‘sales reporting abuses,” as recent scandals in the U.S., along with rampant “self-registrations” in the EU have shown.

At the same time, data reported by automakers are becoming increasingly hard to compare.

Toyota reports production only. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which is, at least for this exercise, close enough to production. The Alliance numbers are a blend of production data reported by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and deliveries reported by Renault.