By on June 1, 2010

Some time in summer, OICA will announce the world production ranking of all automakers and answer that all-important question: Who are the world’s largest auto makers? TTAC readers are an impatient bunch and are used to hear and know stuff before anybody else. TTAC is pleased to announce the preliminary, unofficial world ranking of 2009 production. Who’s the top? Who’s the bottom? Who dominates the industry? We present you: The top ten car makers in the world.

For this, we have scoured the websites, read the annual reports, bugged the press liaisons. We report you the numbers as they have been reported to us, including the source (click on the manufacturer name to get to the source.) Be warned, manufacturers have their own methodology. Some count sales, some count production, Ford counts “worldwide wholesale unit volumes.” Most count buses and heavy trucks. Some do not. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. When the ranking gets tight, it may. Some unabashedly inflate their numbers. We won’t edit or adjust their figures. We give them to you as they have been given to us.

World’s 10 Largest Auto Makers

TTAC Rank 2009 Manufacturer Global units 2009 OICA Rank 2008 OICA Units 2008 2009/
2008
1 Toyota Group 7,234,439 1 9,237,780 -21.7%
2 General Motors Group 6,503,000 2 8,282,803 -21.5%
3 Volkswagen Group 6,290,000 3 6,437,414 -2.3%
4 Ford Group 4,817,000 4 5,407,000 -10.9%
5 PSA Group 3,188,000 7 3,325,407 -4.1%
6 Hyundai 3,106,178 8 2,777,137 11.8%
7 Honda 3,012,000 5 3,912,700 -23.0%
8 Nissan 2,744,562 6 3,395,065 -19.2%
9 Suzuki 2,387,533 9 2,623,567 -9.0%
10 Renault 2,309,188 11 2,417,351 -4.5%

Amongst the top 4, nothing has changed as far as the ranking goes. All except VW took a big haircut. But thanks to China and more than a million of Wuling vans, GM holds on to 2nd place. PSA and Hyundai had a strong showing and kicked Honda off #4 – but with a little creative bookkeeping this might change when the OICA numbers come out. Renault edges into the Top Ten and kicks FIAT down to second league (#11).

Last November, an urban myth made the rounds that VW may the world’s largest automaker. It’s still making the rounds. BS, I say. VW still is a million away from the top spot. That’s why they have until 2018 to catch up. And who would have guessed it: Even the often repeated “Volkswagen is the second largest automaker” was not true. They were #3 in 2008. They remain #3 in 2009.

Back to OICA: Some companies gave OICA 2008 numbers that differ from what’s on their books and in their annual reports.  Expect the shenanigans to continue. However, as far as the top 4 are concerned, we do not expect any changes in position. In any case, it’s not over until the fat lady at OICA sings. Even after she stops singing, the argument will continue. Come on, Wuling …

PS: Good old Chrysler would have nearly busted the project, would they have been Top Ten material. Not even close. Somewhere on #15 – but we don’t know. Chrysler makes a mess even out of year end reporting. They announced U.S. numbers. Then, sales outside NA. But no Canada or Mexico numbers for year end. Come on guys, get your act together.

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45 Comments on “TTAC Announces World’s Top Ten Largest Automakers...”


  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Good for Obama Motors. They’ve got the right quality for China.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Can I have the blonde on the right, please?

  • avatar

    You had me at Bikini.

  • avatar
    abcars

    Hyundai increasing by 11.8% is really remarkable. Were they lucky to bring their slew of new products at the time? or were they blessed with a great marketing team?

    • 0 avatar
      DisturbedDriver

      A bit of both.

      Marketing – Hyundai Assurance+millions spent on commercials certainly boosted their image especially during the recession. It’s a real pity that Ewanowich left them to work for Nissan then later GM.

      New Products – Yep. The Genesis was arguably the start of their 24/7 2.0 initiative with a new focus on design and a continued dedication to the typical 4-5/5 star crash ratings. It didn’t hurt that their products, being traditionally priced below competitors,’ sold well during the recession. Even in China, they sell well because they’re regarded as being cheaper than Toyota cars but of higher quality than the usual Chinese econobox.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    And from the song of Miss Venezuela… “en una noche tan linda como esta, cualquiera de nosotras podría triunfar, ser coronada Miss Venezuela…”

    Toyota left GM in the dust, although the gap closed in 2009. VW is preparing the overtaking maneuver.

    PSA also got a small haircut. I guess if they take into account the cars made by IKCO and which models.

    Bertel, look what I found today… the XJ is STILL being made in China. See: http://www.thetycho.com/old-pic-first-beijing-jeep-cherokee-rolling-of-the-line/

    And… more eye-candy :D

    http://www.hostanyimage.com/files/75458419649164706017.jpg

    • 0 avatar

      I know Tycho’s green Cherokee. I wouldn’t mind knowing that latex lady, Boobs a bit too big, but that’s what you get when you lived in China too long.

    • 0 avatar
      TimCrothers

      The Latex beauty is Quebec’s (Oversized) Pride Bianca Beauchamp, sadly she was even more stunning pre-boob job when she was a school teacher.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/48985882@N03/4489808345/sizes/o/
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/34987269@N06/3248625388/sizes/o/

      And an semi NSFW Auto Racing
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/34987269@N06/3247741529/sizes/o/

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      jajaja… here there is for all tastes… boobies, booties, hips… big, small, etc…

      The Tycho seems to be chinese or someone that has english as second language. Interesting the cars he post on the seen in China section.

    • 0 avatar

      TheTycho is Dutch. He has a Chinese wife.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Why is Renault/Nissan counted separately? They are de facto one and the same. Taken together, they would end up with close to 5.4 million units, and taking the 4th place in rank, kicking everybody else down the ladder.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know. But Renault and Nissan are listed separately on the OICA list, and they announce separately. If I would have found a consolidated report, I would have consolidated them. I won’t second-guess an automaker.

      Same thing with Hyundai and Kia. We know they are one and the same. But they report separately. God knows why.Separate on OICA. Separate here.

      Those who report consolidated, such as Toyota, Daihatsu, Hino, or the Volkswagen Group with its gadzillion of brands, or the worldwide empire of GM, are listed consolidated. Their wish is my command.

      BTW, slight change at Renault. There was a mistake in the data.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      I would imagine that 1: Renault do not own more than 50% of Nissan and, therefore, have no right to claim Nissan’s figures as their own (much like why Ford never claimed Mazda’s sales figures as their own because they only owned 33%). and 2. Renault and Nissan haven’t merged. Speak to Carlos Ghosn and he doesn’t believe in mergers as they destroy value. Renault and Nissan are 2 separate companies as far as he’s concerned.

      And if you’re still of the volition that Renault and Nissan should be counted together, then why aren’t Volkswagen and Suzuki counted as one? That’d change the table somewhat…

    • 0 avatar

      Tell that to GM. They only own 34% of Wuling. They don’t even own the majority of GM China … Doesn’t keep them from counting everything.

    • 0 avatar
      Fusion

      Interestingly, iirc this years VW numbers are without Porsche as well, even though they bought 49,9% in 2009 (though in December). Meaning they own more, or as much as GM does in their China JVs.

      Small numbers, but on principle it shows the weaknesses of such a listing. Though I don’t really know how to change that… ;)

    • 0 avatar

      In 2009, Porsche had not been integrated into the Volkswagen Group. It won’t be integrated in 2010 either. Neither was or will Suzuki, Once numbers are reported on a consolidated basis, they will be reported on a consolidated basis. Easy. Their choice.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      OICA is so old school. Why defer to them on methodology?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Renault owns less than 50% of Nissan and Hyundai owns less than 50% of Kia. Ergo, they are not subsidiaries, and thus their numbers are not counted. And that does make sense.

      Now, about all those Chinese JVs whose numbers are still counted … the only difference here is that GM (or whoever) still owns the *brand* (not the case for Nissan and Hyundai above) so even if GM only owns 49% of the JV (for example), the JV still only makes Buicks, and Buick is counted as a GM brand.

      Some kind of pro rata accounting would probably make more sense but it’s hard enough sourcing these kinds of numbers — as Bertel can attest, I’m sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Fusion

      I doubt GM owns the Wuling Brand? IIRC usually the western partner gets to count the sales/production volumes due to contractual details in the JV that allow them to (Bertel can probably shed some light here). They don’t actually get to consolidate the revenue/profit.

      So I absolutely don’t doubt the numbers, and I wouldnt know a better way of “counting”. But one should just remember that these numbers aren’t as absolute or definitive as they seem… ;)

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Odd little question: What designates a “group” vs. not a “group”? I mean, Toyota is listed as “Toyota Group,” which I’m assuming includes it’s association w/Lexus, etc. However, Hyundai doesn’t receive this designation, though I’m assuming their numbers include Kia sales; same goes for Nissan/Infinity & Honda/Acura. Is this simply semantics or are Kia, Infinity and Acura sales tallied separately of Hyundai, Nissan & Honda?

    Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy Hagar

      Never mind…asked & answered above.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      One note on Infiniti, Acura and Lexus: strictly speaking, those are just *brands*, not companies. On the other hand, almost all of VW’s brands are actually subsidiary companies that are majority-owned by VW.

      So, back to your question: multiple brands within one company is generally not considered a “group”.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    You really have to credit Honda’s flexible manufacturing capabilities – their volumes are down the most, and yet they are about the only profitable carmaker.

    Hyundai on the other hand is a complete monster. How Chrysler thinks they will survive their onslaught is beyond me.

  • avatar
    albatrosnh

    You guys skip the “Honda slipped more than others” and went for the GM bashing. Huge surprise.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    From this it looks like Honda is going to need a partner to stay in the game. Two years ago I admired Honda’s rifle shot product strategy and go-it-alone mindset … but Honda has somehow lost the ability to sight in a rifle. Many of Honda’s recent redesigns are less desirable than the version they replaced. The Insight II is a joke. The Crosstour is a joke. The Ridgeline seems to be a bridge to nowhere. The entire Acura lines looks horrible with the new nose job. Putting a V-6 in the TSX was stupid. The much hyped Honda clean diesel disappeared without a trace (at least for the US).

    Honda seems to be rapidly devolving at just the time when some of its best global competitors are getting their acts together.

    Hyundai could easily supplant Honda as the leading Toyota alternative in the US market. Not good for Honda, not good at all.

    • 0 avatar
      DisturbedDriver

      Not happening. Honda already announced almost a year back they were avoiding joint partnerships as they often create inefficiencies. If there’s one company that’s benefited the most from partnerships, it’s Hyundai. They used their joint projects with Mitsubishi during the 1980s and later on with Ford to improve their quality and gain some know-how. In this day and age of heavy R&D projects, I think it’s in the best of every automaker that wants to cut costs to share technology as long as it’s not the type that hurts their competitive advantage.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      JohnHorner…

      Your post, and this item, begs a question I’ve been wanting the B&B to opine on for some time….which of the OEM’s internationally has the most comprehensive product line? Is it Ford with their trucks, ascendant US Cars and Euro models? Is it Nissan? I’d like to pose it as a QOTD, Paul, if it interests you….

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    As any figures stated are some part of a “co-op” with a ChiCom ‘partner’, who really effen cares?

    The reality is that you have to take your cash out in ChiCom junk, as the Yuan is valued about 40% below the USD.

    (Don’t get me wrong. ‘Tis a great strategy for using slave-level wages to siphon capital from the rest of the world. And capitalize on in that greed. But that doesn’t mean the thinking class will accept the con.)hnjt5

    • 0 avatar

      Just like the Obama mention in every thread gets old real fast, the same old “ChiCom” crud gets old even faster. ‘ChiCom’ is the equivalent of “Yankee imperialist.” Went out of fashion some 30 years ago. ChiCom dates you as stuck in the past, unteachable residue.

      Aren’t you proud to be a patriot? If all numbers that are part of a “co-op” with a ChiCom ‘partner’ are suspect, then you should leave your country very quickly. America’s finances are the biggest joint venture with a Chinese partner one can imagine.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Okay, I gotta weigh in with my perennial complaint about these rankings. Why are the OEMs ranked on units of output? Why not on sales revenue? Does Walmart announce how many ties they sold last quarter? Nope, sales revenue. Does CBS discuss how many minutes of airtime their shows filled? Nope, advertising revenue. Do investors in a gold mine care how many tons of ore were moved, or how many dollars the nuggets were sold for? Etc. Counting units implies that the prices (not to mention the profits) of a Maybach, a Mazda, and a Maruti are all the same. As we all know, they are not. Thus “little” Porsche came close to being able to buy “big” VW. Keeping score this way means the industry will always be more interested in pushing product on customers than in figuring out which products customers want to actually buy. I’d love to see this chart redone by revenue….

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    Here’s a list sorted by revenue – LY is last fiscal year and it is consolidated revenue – not just automotive revenue. For example, Toyota’s revenue was in the $185b range. These values are USD adjusted and not in local currency to country of domicile. Not all manufacturers separate automotive revenue from the consolidated total, so I just used the top line. In some cases, not a problem. But is WalMart the worlds largest tie seller or are they the biggest revenue generator that happens to sell ties?

    Peer Company LY % LY-1 % LY-2
    Toyota Motor Corp 204,363 -0.4% 205,127 -11.1% 230,822
    Volkswagen AG 146,677 -12.4% 167,400 12.1% 149,277
    Ford Motor Co 118,308 -18.5% 145,114 -15.9% 172,455
    Daimler AG 110,055 -22.0% 141,019 3.5% 136,257
    GM 104,589 -42.3% 181,122 -11.9% 205,601
    Honda Motor 92,516 -7.5% 100,030 -5.1% 105,386
    Nissan Motor 81,065 -3.8% 84,300 -11.3% 95,038
    Porsche 77,558 597.8% 11,115 14.8% 9,685
    BMW 70,672 -9.7% 78,247 1.9% 76,790
    Fiat SpA 69,864 -20.0% 87,342 8.9% 80,232
    Peugeot SA 67,515 -15.6% 79,952 -0.6% 80,434
    Renault SA 47,009 -15.4% 55,587 -0.3% 55,767
    Audi AG 41,610 -17.3% 50,299 9.1% 46,083
    Suzuki 26,626 -11.3% 30,024 -2.4% 30,752
    Hyundai 25,108 -15.8% 29,819 -9.5% 32,953
    Mazda Motor Corp 23,336 -7.9% 25,338 -17.0% 30,518
    SAIC Motor 20,225 34.3% 15,059 10.4% 13,634
    Tata Motors 19,399 18.4% 16,380 92.1% 8,525
    Daihatsu 16,982 4.2% 16,301 9.0% 14,948
    Toyota Auto Body 16,159 -2.1% 16,499 19.6% 13,798
    Mitsubishi 15,589 -20.9% 19,720 -16.3% 23,549
    Fuji 15,407 6.6% 14,446 4.6% 13,805
    Kia Motors Corp 14,513 -4.4% 15,176 -11.6% 17,164
    Dongfeng 13,431 32.2% 10,158 30.2% 7,800
    AvtoVAZ 7,749 5.6% 7,339 10.8% 6,624

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    LY % LY-1 % LY-2
    Toyota 204,363 -0.4% 205,127 -11.1% 230,822
    Volkswagen 146,677 -12.4% 167,400 12.1% 149,277
    Ford Motor 118,308 -18.5% 145,114 -15.9% 172,455
    Daimler AG 110,055 -22.0% 141,019 3.5% 136,257
    GM 104,589 -42.3% 181,122 -11.9% 205,601
    Honda Motor 92,516 -7.5% 100,030 -5.1% 105,386
    Nissan Motor 81,065 -3.8% 84,300 -11.3% 95,038
    Porsche 77,558 597.8% 11,115 14.8% 9,685
    BMW 70,672 -9.7% 78,247 1.9% 76,790
    Fiat SpA 69,864 -20.0% 87,342 8.9% 80,232
    Peugeot SA 67,515 -15.6% 79,952 -0.6% 80,434
    Renault SA 47,009 -15.4% 55,587 -0.3% 55,767
    Audi AG 41,610 -17.3% 50,299 9.1% 46,083
    Suzuki 26,626 -11.3% 30,024 -2.4% 30,752
    Hyundai 25,108 -15.8% 29,819 -9.5% 32,953
    Mazda 23,336 -7.9% 25,338 -17.0% 30,518
    SAIC Motor 20,225 34.3% 15,059 10.4% 13,634
    Tata 19,399 18.4% 16,380 92.1% 8,525
    Daihatsu 16,982 4.2% 16,301 9.0% 14,948
    ToyotaAutoBody 16,159 -2.1% 16,499 19.6% 13,798
    Mitsubishi 15,589 -20.9% 19,720 -16.3% 23,549
    Fuji 15,407 6.6% 14,446 4.6% 13,805
    Kia 14,513 -4.4% 15,176 -11.6% 17,164
    Dongfeng 13,431 32.2% 10,158 30.2% 7,800
    AvtoVAZ 7,749 5.6% 7,339 10.8% 6,624

    This is consolidated revenue (not just automotive) – in USD – starting from FY09 and working back to FY07

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    sorry – that looks like doodie. I have this on a spreadsheet but don’t know how to send it.

    • 0 avatar
      Glenn Mercer

      Thanks Motorhead! Interesting numbers to say the least. I know there are many puts and takes in them (primarily whether the auto finance arm is counted or not, but also things like heavy-truck divisions)…but the massive scale of Toyota is amazing regardless!

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    Why does Toyota sell more than Honda in the US? Honda’s are just as well made and reliable, far sportier and have more character, and cost the same or less. Is it because of -

    1. Most people prefer Toyota’s softer ride and handling (i.e. boat)
    2. Hybrids

    • 0 avatar
      Stingray

      Toyota has worked for long to become what Chevrolet was. That is, a bread and butter car for anyone. They added reliability and “better quality” to the mix, not including fuel efficiency because they are as any D3 now (truck/guzzler heavy portfolio, the Prius is for greenwashing). But essentially a Toyota is a higher quality Chevy. I for instance, prefer the real thing, although Chevy will barely sell US designed cars in the future.

      That’s my opinion.

      I’d see Honda as the old Chrysler… very good engineering wise, innovative, fun to drive cars (as reported by Mr. Niedermeyer Sr.). But this people actually succeeded.

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    I redid this chart with only automotive revenues (passenger vehicles) and currency adjusted it to USD for easy measure – I sent it to the powers that be TTAC -

  • avatar
    flameded

    Hyundai is doing better because their cars look much, much, much better than they used to.
    Plain and simple.
    Reliability,safety,economy…bah..
    I’d be willing to bet that looks are AT LEAST half the battle when people buy a new car.

    I gotta admit..some of their new cars are lookin “good”. (of course “good looks” is relative to what other people are making these days.. )

    I tried to save GM years ago…I sent them an email saying [basically]…”Make cars that people want to buy.”
    (I know, its a secret formula..so don’t tell anyone)
    They thanked me for my email and suggestion.

    O…they also didn’t take me up on my suggestion.


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