Toyota starts the year as World’s Largest Automaker

Toyota Group starts the year with something nearly forgotten since the pandemic hit: Black numbers. Compared to January 2020, Toyota grew its global sales by nearly 4%, powered by strong results in China and North America, and it takes a deserved top spot in the rankings. Volkswagen Group came in not far behind with a slight -1.4% YOY. Volkswagen was dragged down by a 28% contraction at home in Western Europe, which strong China sales (+22.1%) could not quite make up.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, down 8.5% YOY, is still losing precious blood. Of the three, Nissan, down only 1.9%  in January, could stem the bleeding to a large degree. Renault however ended January with a nearly 16% open wound.

Please note that as announced a month ago, the Daily Kanban is now ranking global automakers by sales. We used to rank them by production. because this was how the global automaker umbrella association OICA has done it in the past. OICA seems to have thrown-in the towel, and you no longer will find any automaker rankings on the previously authoritative OICA website, neither by production, nor by sales. Also, reliable production data are harder and harder to come by.

With a heavy heart, we now switch to sales/delivery data published by automakers. Be aware that “deliveries” is a rather elastic term. Deliveries can be sales to end users, or cars dumped on dealer lots, or cars “delivered” to sales organizations, or combinations thereof. Also, please note that Mitsubishi Motors does not publish global sales, only domestic sales in Japan. For that reason, we use Mitsubishi’s published global production data as a proxy.

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