World’s Largest Automakers, August 2019: Toyota still ahead with a comfortable lead

Eight months into the year, the Toyota Group continues to lead the world’s top three automakers. The distance between Toyota and Volkswagen narrowed a bit to around 97,000 units, mostly because Toyota decided to catch some breath in August.

Still, Toyota is the only one of the three contenders on a positive trajectory. Year-to-date, Toyota is up 3%, whereas Volkswagen is down 2.7%. At Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the Alliance is not the only thing that is coming apart. Global deliveries also are disintegrating at all three Alliance partners, especially at Nissan, which was down 10% by the end of August. With management attention at internecine warfare, and the polishing of CVs, it’s hard to battle the effects of a global downturn.

With two thirds of the year behind us, Toyota looks more and more like the winner, but as usual, it ain’t over until it’s over.

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 are 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. 

This site automatically detects and reports abuse