TTAC maintains its long-held forecast that Toyota will regain the title of world’s largest automaker by the end the year, with a combined group production of around 10 million units. This trend was confirmed today by TMC’s announcement of August 2012 data. The race will tighten up, but not because of huge sales gains by runner-ups GM and Volkswagen. Policy decisions in Tokyo and Beijing will likely cause Toyota to slow down.
|August Production and Full Year Forecast|
|8M ’12||8M ’11||YoY||Proj ’12|
|Black: Company data. Blue: Projection, based on last available
|Toyota, GM: Production. VW: Deliveries. Forecast by TTAC|
By the end of August, Toyota had produced 6,904,333 units globally across Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino, that is 45.1 percent more than in tsunami-ravaged 2011.
A straight-line projection of TMC’s year-to-date performance yields 10.356 million cars for Toyota by the end of 2012. This number has remained more or less steady (with a slight downward bias,) since we started tracking it. Toyota’s internal (and usually very conservative) plan calls for 9.7 million units for the current fiscal.
Due to a lack of official data, it is hard to gauge GM’s chances with the same degree of certainty as Toyota and Volkswagen. GM publishes data only on a quarterly basis. The last data point we have is for June 2012, the rest has to be interpolated. However, we have not seen drastic changes at GM in the two months for which we have no data. GM’s performance in its main markets China, North America, and Europe continued the trend of the first half of the year.
Volkswagen also stays mainly in the same groove carved for the year so far.
Two black clouds are hanging over Toyota. The clouds are Japan. And Japan and China.
In Japan, the market is ending its torrid growth after the government subsidies have ended. A 25 percent reduction from pre-August levels could mean an adjustment by slightly more than 200,000 units when the year ends.
The fallout from the Japan-China row will also put a damper on Toyota’s numbers. Toyota’s China sales last year totaled about 883,400 vehicles. Assuming a 25 percent downturn in China from current levels for the remainder of the year, this would mean an adjustment of 75,000 units. With that in mind, Toyota could make the 10 million, or will just barely miss the pinnacle. It would take a miracle however if GM keeps its current title of World’s Largest Automaker.
PS: Ironically, and officially, Toyota still is the world’s largest automaker. OICA, the umbrella organization of the world’s automakers usually publishes last year’s ranking of the world’s largest automakers, based on production, some time in August. They have not, and the world is still waiting. This keeps the last published ranking still in effect. It is from 2010, showing Toyota in place 1, followed by GM and then Volkswagen. If OICA waits much longer, then they can use this list for 2012 also.