By on November 13, 2009

Keep 'em rolling...

We weren’t the only outlet to note Volkswagen’s apparent 2010 production volume win over Toyota a few days ago. Not so fast, Toyota tells Automotive News [sub]. Volkswagen’s total included production by joint ventures in which it does not hold a majority stake, Toyota’s didn’t. On an apples-to-apples basis (with minority stake affiliates included) Toyota built 4.9m vehicles in the first three quarters of 2009, to Volkswagen’s 4.4m. And because Toyota cut so much production early this year, while VW rode the European (particularly the German) cash-for-clunker wave, Toyota will continue to gain ground over the rest of the year. And the gap could widen in 2010: VW should see a certain amount of downturn in its core German market now that the abwrackprämie has expired, while improvements in the US and Asian markets should help Toyota. Not that Toyota cares about being number one. “Toyota’s goal is to focus on the customer, so we’re not focused on being No. 1,” ooze the spokesfolks. Well thanks for correcting us anyway.

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8 Comments on “Toyota: We’re Actually Number One (Not That We Care)...”


  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    “Toyota’s goal is to focus on the customer, so we’re not focused on being No. 1,”
     
    Those were probably straight from Akio Toyoda’s mouth: he has stated that he doesn’t care about numbers, he cares about building good cars.

  • avatar
    wsn

    I also fail to see what’s the big about the No.1 in units sold. GM achieved it’s No.1 status, not by organic growth, but by merging. The downside is obvious and hurting GM to this very day (Buick overlaps with Chevy and Caddy).
    Is it surprising that Honda, the company with the fewest brands and the fewest models, is the most profitable of them all? I think Honda is the real No.1 here. About every mainstream model that Honda offers is either No.1 or very close to being No.1 in that segment: Fit, Civic, Accord, CRV, Odyssey. Toyota is slightly weaker in that Yaris and Sienna are slightly inferior to their Honda counterparts. What does VW have to offer? Don’t make me laugh.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Yeah, I couldn’t care less who builds more cars.  It makes no difference how many glasses of lemonade you made.  How many did you sell and how much profit did you make on each one?

    It can’t be more simple than this.

    That’s just an indicator that the automakers and their willing accomplices in the mainstream press uses to dumb us down.

    I remember years ago, driving on I-75 (or maybe it was I-94 or I-96) through one of the worst neighborhoods in Detroit, the big Goodyear sign with the big bright lights announcing each new car “built” with a tick of the numbers.  I remember thinking, “so you built another car, big whoop…the one I’m driving still isn’t working right.”

    I’m glad I don’t have to go into downtown Detroit very often anymore.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Toyota would do well to distance themselves from the Units!!, Units!!, Units!! mentality of manufacturing “thinking”.

  • avatar
    ConejoZing

    ^_^  haha Toyota well you have a good stance it would seem.   Focus on the customer.

  • avatar
    ott

    Toyota is slightly weaker in that Yaris and Sienna are slightly inferior to their Honda counterparts. What does VW have to offer? Don’t make me laugh.

    Well, Volkswagen does offer the Routan, which is a rebadged Dodge Grand Cara–oh wait, never mind…

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    The real issue is not how many cars you make, it is how fat your bottom line is. This is done by bringing your customers back over and over. Honda is indeed darned good at that. The money they save in having fewer models can be reinvested in better product.

  • avatar

    “Toyota’s goal is to focus on the customer, so we’re not focused on being No. !”
    Funny, that was the way that Old Man Watson built IBM into the Godzilla it was by the 70’s….by building superior machinery and putting the customer (and its workers) first. Since the 80’s of course, pygmy management has been mining all the strength and good will that he built.
    Watson had 3 principles he ran IBM on:
    1) Respect for the Individual
    2) To give the best service of any company, anywhere in the world
    3) To attack *every job in a superior fashion.
    Sic transit Gloria Mundi


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