By on January 25, 2010

The Japanese press is making a big to-do out of the combined 2009 sales of Volkswagen and Suzuki. Or rather out of the fact that the two together sold more than Toyota. „Suzuki-VW Beats Toyota In Global Sales In ’09” headlines The Nikkei, as if the two would be one company.

That the two of them could easily crush Toyota is no news to TTAC readers. When we announced the VW-Suzuki nuptials on Dec 9, 2009, we said: “Suzuki has an output of 2.36 million units a year; added to VW’s sales, Toyota would be toast.”

The Nikkei did the adding, and writes: 

“Suzuki, a major minivehicle maker that formed a capital and business alliance with the German firm late last year, generated sales of about 2.3m units. With the German partner’s 6.29m combined, their sales totaled roughly 8.6m vehicles, exceeding the Toyota group’s some 7.81m units (down 13 percent on year).”

If GM is allowed to count the Chinese Wuling sales as theirs, despite having only a 34 percent minority interest in the joint venture, then a case could be made that Volkswagen’s and Suzuki’s sales could also be added together.

We just didn’t think someone would. At least not for 2009, for crying out loud. The deal was announced in December 2009, and the marriage wasn’t formally consummated before January 15th, 2010.

But Japanese media, from the Kyodo News to the Asahi Shimbun , trumpet that the two trounced Toyota. Sounds like ToMoCo has fallen from grace in Japan, while an upstart motor cycle manufacturer and a German gaijin are being feted. A bit prematurely, we’d say, but tell that to the Nipponese media.  Tough to be Toyota these days.

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8 Comments on “Japanese Press: „Suzuki-VW Beats Toyota”...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    This is why the auto industry really annoys me sometimes. Just one great big pissing (pardon my language) contest.

    I think you should be allowed to count the proportion of a company’s sales to how much of a stake you own in them. e.g If Suzuki sold a million cars and VW own 19.9% of Suzuki, then Volkswagen can claim 199,000 sales as their own. It’s the only fair way.

    If you apply that logic then VW had only 6,747,700 sales.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    The more you quote from the Nikkei, the less impressed I am with the Nikkei.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    This is new to me, Toyota bashing… by the home team, no less.

    Really, since Dic-08, things have change a LOT

  • avatar
    Omoikane

    Since TMC owns stakes in Subaru and Isuzu, shouldn’t those 2 companies’ sales numbers be added to Toyota’s tally?…

  • avatar
    texlovera

    “…and the marriage wasn’t formally consumed…”. I think you meant “consummated”.

    (Unless VW is gobbling up Suzuki?)

  • avatar
    th009

    I would very much support including only a proportional percentage of sales for minority holdings.

    And in the same vein, Hyundai’s reporting should then only include 40% of Kia’s sales in its own as it does not own a majority.

  • avatar

    As a fan of Hank Hill, I most protest. Hank would never fudge figures like that. Hank, the most decent man on television, believes in a square deal.

    I’m just surprised that Hank never converted his Ford pickups to run on propane.

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