It is a Japanese tradition. At this time of the month, all Japanese automakers provide their global results for the preceding month and the year. This month is no exception. Honda did set an all-time June record and raised its worldwide production by 66 percent for the first half. Nissan also reports an all-time June record and that global production is up 19 percent January through June. The most watched numbers come from Japanese juggernaut Toyota.
Toyota increased its worldwide production by 55 percent for the first half of the year. That, of course, is compared to the same period of a truly catastrophic year in Japan, when car production came to a halt in the months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Across all Toyota Motor Corporation companies and divisions (i.e. Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino,) the company produced 5.2 million cars globally in the first six month.
Where does that leave Toyota in the international ranking? That we will only know for sure once GM supplies its Q2 report, which we expect in the first week of August. Toyota is on track to produce around 10 million cars this year. Volkswagen looks like it will make a little less than 9 million, which would mean #3 in the global ranking. GM currently is believed to be a few units behind Toyota.
However, the rest of the year promises a tight neck-on-neck race between GM and Toyota. Toyota will slow down domestic Japanese production to account for the termination of government subsidies. Japanese brands outsell all others in China, which means a high exposure to the slowing Chinese market. Then, on the other hand, China is GM’s most important market. It will be interesting through the end of the year.