Toyota looking more and more like World’s Largest Automaker 2019

The data for May are in, and even if it’s early in the year, Toyota Motor Corp pretty much has (barring hell, high water, major wars, or increased Trumpian morosity) decided the race for World’s Largest Automaker for itself.  Not only has Toyota increased its year-on-year increases. The other two contestants, Volkswagen and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, are heading further south.

As of May 31, Toyota could increase its output by more than 4%, which in this not so friendly auto market is a feat. Toyota’s sales in all regions of the world (except Oceania) are up.

Volkswagen Group deliveries, down nearly 4% by the end of May, continue to deteriorate. As its headline for May data, the company used “Volkswagen Group expands market share in May,” which is always a bad sign.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance data, down nearly 8%, look troublesome. The Alliance is down across the board, Renault 6.78%, Mitsubishi 5.5% and Nissan a whopping 9.3%. Apparently, it is very unhealthy  if management attention is on intramural warfare instead on running a powerful car company.  

And now the necessary caveat:

The race for World’s Largest Automaker is not decided by sales, but by production, and 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 and sales. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which can be cars dumped on dealer lots, or actual sales to customers. The Alliance numbers used to be a blend of production data reported by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and deliveries reported by Renault. As of September 2018, Renault started to report sales only, forcing us to use those. 

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