World’s Largest Automakers, August 2022: Out of the hole, ever so slowly

Global automakers are slowly, very slowly climbing out of the hole they fell into earlier in the year, pushed by a trifecta of COVID, supply chain troubles, and a Ukraine shooting war. By the end of August, total global industry volume was down only 4.9% year-to-date, in the month of August it rose an encouraging 6.6%.

World’s largest automaker Toyota Group reflects this trend to a T. In August, global YTD group sales were down 4.9%.

The healthiest on the leaderboard is Hyundai Group, with global YTD group sales down only 1.9%. Most likely, Hyundai Group will keep its position, and end the year as 3rd-largest automaker. If current trajectories are kept, Hyundai Group could overtake Volkswagen in 2023.

Volkswagen Group is ever so slowly recovering. In August, its global group sales lagged by 16.2%, which may look bad, but  it still is an improvement over April, when YTD sales were down 26% and cost Herbert Diess his CEO job.

Worst performer remains the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, down 21.7% YTD. Renault was down 28.5%, Nissan 21.8%, and Mitsubishi Motors was down only 2.2%.

And now for the usual disclaimer:  Daily Kanban ranks world’s largest automakers by sales, as reported by the automaker. We used to determine the largest automaker in the world by looking at production, because this was how the global automaker umbrella association OICA had done it in the past. OICA seems to have thrown-in the towel, and you no longer will find any recent auto manufacturer rankings on the previously authoritative OICA website, neither by production, nor by sales. Reliable production data are harder and harder to come by, forcing us to switch to sales/delivery data published by automakers. Be aware that “deliveries” can be 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 are forced to use Mitsubishi’s published global production data as a proxy. Speaking of the Alliance, their number reporting is not allied at all, and a common picture requires considerable Excel machinations. Nissan and Mitsubishi report sales and production, Renault only reports deliveries. Mitsubishi does not report global sales, Nissan does. To make the confusion complete, Nissan sometimes reports sales for the April-to-March fiscal year, and sometimes for the calendar year.

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