By on May 30, 2013


TTAC continues its coverage of the race for World’s Largest Automaker. Last year, around this time, we did not do too badly with our guesstimate that Toyota would finish the year as #1, GM as #2, and Volkswagen as #3. Let’s see how we’ll do this year.

Tracking the world’s largest automakers
Jan-Apr 2013, full year forecast
4M’13 4M’12 YoY Proj ’13
Toyota 3,349,614 3,498,731 -4.3% 10,049,000
GM 3,148,000 3,038,000 3.6% 9,444,000
Volkswagen 3,050,000 2,890,000 5.5% 9,150,000
Black: Company data. Blue: Projection, based on last available
Toyota, GM: Production. VW: Deliveries.

Crude forecast by TTAC

This year, our admittedly crude estimate says that nothing will change in the ranking.  The distances between the contestants most likely will get narrower. (The full year estimate is what it is: A very crude estimate, but good enough to establish a likely ranking.)

Toyota published its April and YTD data today. From January through April, TMC made 3,349,614 units on a global basis.  That’s down 4.3 percent, however it is down from a mad dash in early 2012 that tried (and succeeded) to recover from the effects of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In April 2012, production was up 50 percent. Our crude World’O’Meter says that Toyota might pierce the 10 million units this year, Akio Toyoda said three weeks ago that this is what he and TMC want to do.

Volkswagen’s deliveries were up 5.5 percent through April, its former breakneck pace is slowing due to the effects of the European contagion, but its trajectory remains steeper than that of GM.

No new global data are available from GM, we extrapolated from  the Q1 numbers.

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10 Comments on “World’s Largest Automakers 2013: No Change Seen By Year-End...”


  • avatar
    wsn

    If you can include a dollar amount of auto sales, that would be even better.

    • 0 avatar

      We’ve done that, to the best of our abilities:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/toyota-officially-wants-to-make-more-than-10-million-units-this-year-very-carefully/

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        I see nothing relevant from your link. It does have some profit figures, but:

        1) Profit is not the same as revenue. When you want to know which company has more sales, revenue should be used.

        2) The figures provided are not for auto sales only. The financial arm probably has more weight in those profits.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    While interesting, this has less relevance than picking Hollywood’s hottest celebrity, since there is no reward for being the #1, 2, or 3 mfr in the world.

    The Death Watches have more bearing on investors and consumers. At a minimum, people just want to know their car won’t be an orphan. Nobody tells their neighbor they just bought a car from the #1 mfr.

    • 0 avatar

      You are right that the customer is unlikely to brag about buying a car from the world’s largest automaker. In the industry, this is a very hot topic – even if they all claim that it isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        It is a hot topic among journalists and other sideline chatterers, (including myself in the later group)!

        Similar to golf: Focusing on the end score is a distraction from focusing only on your next shot.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          @ “Similar to golf: Focusing on the end score is a distraction from focusing only on your next shot.”

          I disagree. As a bystander, I only focus on the end score, i.e. did Tiger Wood win again after divorce?

          If you are not speaking from the perspective of a bystander, your “similar to golf” analogy falls apart, because your are not the CEO of Toyota/GM/VW.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @wsn- My point is that wanting to be the top seller is not a method to get there.

            As Dr. Deming would say, “By what method..” will you achieve your goal.

            I was coming from the perspective inside the business, not that of a bystander, even though that is what I am these days. I stand by my golf analogy in that context.

            Sure, when you have no skin in the game, all you may consider is the win. Second place is just the first loser, after all.

            Toyota’s success is not founded on wanting to be the number one seller. It is founded on their focus on meeting customer demand and continuously improving, the right way to run any consumer product business.

            We can also see this with Apple as another notable example.

            I did not express this idea very well the first time.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Speaking as a guy that strugles with golf,I think its a great analogy.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            I was responding to Herr Schmidt’s “In the industry, it is a hot topic” comment, thinking by industry he meant people who actually are in the business, not people who Write or talk about the business.


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