World’s Largest Automakers, September 2019: Toyota looks like the winner

About one third of the global car production rolls off the lines of just three global automaker groups (wannabe disruptors, take note) and Toyota will most likely will be the largest of the three this year.

With only three more laps to go in the race for World’s Largest Automaker 2019, Toyota has a nearly unassailable lead. Toyota is ahead of Volkswagen by roughly 100,000 units. Despite the fact that global car sales are trending down, Toyota is the only one of the three to eke out a small gain. It would take a mighty shove on behalf of Volkswagen to get ahead of Toyota in the remaining three months.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has improved its 3rd position a bit, but it still looks pale around the nose, and unless the sky will fall on Aichi and Wolfsburg, the Alliance it is out of the race for the top position.

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. 

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