World’s Largest Automakers: Alliance And Toyota Neck-And-Neck, Volkswagen 3rd

This time of the year, it usually is pretty clear who will be the world’s largest automaker once the year ends. This time it’s different: All we know is that last year’s winner Volkswagen will most likely drop to place 3. The race for the top spot is between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Toyota, and it could go either way.

January through August, the Alliance and Toyota are separated by less than a rounding error, and anything can happen in the remaining months. However, with 8.3% growth year-on-year, the trajectory of the Alliance is a bit steeper than Toyota’s. A few weeks ago, Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn said he expects his group to end the year with 10.5 million units, and my spreadsheet says the same. Quite a few people on the planet never heard of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but this year, it could become the world’s largest automaker.

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Dark Horse Renault-Nissan Is World’s 2nd Largest Automaker, Beats Volkswagen

Volkswagen AG, the company that ended 2016 as the world’s largest automaker, continues to show a lack of follow-through. Three months into the year, the Germans fell back to place three. It does not surprise that formerly largest automaker Toyota regained the leadership. The astonishing part is that a dark horse is in second place. With Mitsubishi under its belt, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has upset the top three, and even more surprising, it is nipping at the heels of #1 Toyota.

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Volkswagen Largest Automaker Of The World 2016. Or Maybe Toyota

If you have been dying to find out whether Toyota defended its title of World’s Largest Automaker in 2016, or whether Volkswagen fulfilled its dream of becoming the world’s largest, you now have the official answer: This year, World’s Largest Automaker is whoever you want it to be. Volkswagen has beat Toyota. Or maybe not.

This will be a long story, full of numbers. If your eyes glaze over already, I will let you go with the news that Volkswagen is finally ahead of Toyota — if you believe the published numbers. If you share my perverse fetish for car counting, and if you read the rest of the story, expect your beliefs to be shaken.

Toyota today announced global sales of 10,175,000 units in 2016, and global production of 10,213,486 units. A few weeks ago, Volkswagen said it delivered 10.3 million vehicles worldwide in 2016. General Motors releases its global data only quarterly. Until it releases results for the final quarter of 2016 on February 7, we need to estimate, so GM is out of contention.

In terms of production, the two main contenders are separated by nearly 100,000 units. This is a surprising development.

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How To Properly Hand Out ‘Global Car Sales Crowns:’ Don’t

Tis the season when “global sales crowns” are passed-out to automakers. The OEMs usually suffer the coronation without comment. Officially, they don’t care about the ranking. Or so they claim. Hence, you won’t hear them complain when the crowns are passed out to the wrong automaker, as it happened in the past. To avoid repeated offenses, here a short primer on car counting. This year, two carmakers, Toyota and Volkswagen, are in extremely tight contention, and with an impending photo-finish, exacting work has become more important than ever.

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Toyota Set To Remain World’s Largest Automaker

Volkswagen delivered 10.3 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, the company said today in an emailed statement. With that, it most likely missed its hallowed target of becoming World’s Largest Automaker by the thinnest of hairs. VW’s pet enemy Toyota, world’s number one automaker since Japan recovered from the Tohoku earthquake, will announce its 2016 data by the end of the month. However, the company told me on December 15, 2016 that it plans to produce 10.366 million units in 2016, and Toyota rarely misses these estimates, especially not  when it knows how many cars it will crank out in the next two weeks.

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World’s Largest Automakers 2016: Toyota Pulls Ahead Of Volkswagen — By A Hair


Who will be the world’s largest automaker by the end of the year? As the race between global giants Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG gets increasingly tighter, the answer likely will remain in doubt for months to come. Earlier in the year,  Toyota was out-delivered by Volkswagen, and the supposedly dieselgate-doomed German automaker had a clear shot at reaching its declared target and become the world’s largest. Today, the picture changed. After a sudden push in August deliveries, Toyota now leads VW – not by a whole lot, though.

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Never Mind The Scandals: Volkswagen World’s Largest Automaker In First 6 Months Of 2016


At halftime 2016, Volkswagen AG, scandal-rocked as it may be, still leads Toyota in the race for World’s Largest Automaker. With all three global giants having reported its global deliveries, Volkswagen is some 80,000 units ahead of Toyota. General Motors GM -3.90% is 360,000 units behind Volkswagen, and it definitely has long ceased being a factor in the race for the top spot.

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Volkswagen World’s Largest Automaker — In January, At Least

Mueller - picture courtesy Forbes

Volkswagen AG reached a goal it held dear since 2009 – to become the world’s largest automaker. In January, the German automaker delivered 847,000 units worldwide, bypassing number one Toyota Motor Corp, which produced 801,614 in the same month. The triumph, however, is likely to be fleeting.

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