TTAC Announces The Top 3 Automakers Of 2010. Now With Official Numbers

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

After releasing global sales results of 8.418 million units a few days ago, Toyota today announced the all-important global production number. Toyota established a more comfortable lead before GM. A few days ago, unconfirmed numbers floating around the media made it look like GM had come within touching distance of Toyota.

All three Toyota Motor Corporation companies (i.e. Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino) together produced 8,557,351 cars in 2010. Now why is the production number more important than the sales number?

Like it or not, unit production is the yardstick by which the global ranking of car companies is measured. When OICA releases (some time this summer) its World Ranking of Manufacturers, it will be according to production, and not according to sales. This is debatable, but it is what it is. It also counts every vehicle, from the tiniest Kei car to the heaviest truck or bus. Here is the list for 2009.

Yesterday, GM also announced its official global numbers. GM calls them “deliveries,” i.e. cars out of the door. That number is 8,389,769. Toyota has a more comfortable lead of 167,582 than the 30,000 previously reported by the press.

Now therefore, TTAC announces the top three automakers of 2010:

Top 3 Automakers 2010RankNameProduction1 Toyota Group 8,557,3512 General Motors Group 8,389,7693 Volkswagen Group 7,140,000

Note to scorekeepers: Watch out for the fine nuances of methodologies. There is “production”, there are “deliveries”, there are “sales”, there are “registrations.” The most meaningful number would be registrations by end users, but even those can be fudged. Dealers can and do register a car for a day and report it as sold. “Sales” can be sales to end users, sales to dealers, even sales to an importer somewhere. Counting production may not be the best methodology, but it provides the most consistent number. And in any case: OICA uses production, therefore, so do we.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Bridge2farr Bridge2farr on Jan 27, 2011

    How much longer can Toyota expect to be on top given their horrendous recall and poor design problems?

    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jan 27, 2011

      Considering their lack of growth and GM actual growth GM will regain the title as the largest auto mfg for 2011 if the trends hold out. The fact that Toyota announced the massive recall for fuel leaks the other day only helps GM. Meanwhile the best selling brand in the US is Ford.

  • Obbop Obbop on Jan 27, 2011

    8,557,351 X two = a lot of curb feelers!!!

  • Charlie 78 for my ‘09 Mercury mariner. It has 850k miles on it and leaks oil. It has 9 scratches, deformed bodywork, and severely rusted frame and suspension. When you stand on the duct taped rear bumper, the suspension creaks loudly. Also it has a loud vibration and rod knock, and the driver rear window is falling out. Ps. Don’t they normally have a roof rack and display screen? Cause mine doesn’t.
  • Honda1 More disposable junk from Hyundai.
  • Analoggrotto The ORDER BOOKS in Australia have netted 300% above projection. Australia is so awesome and they are embracing the Telluride DIesel to overtake the Prado. Pentagon data, and eATPs rule the discussion, bar none. Toyota fans can go home with their sorry little turbo 4 cylinder.
  • Analoggrotto Such a loving artful tribute to TTAC's greatest godfather is much welcomed. There's a new and better PORSCHE and they are from SOUTH KOREA baby! After years of Japanese oppression, SOUTH KOREA is the TIGER of the Far EAST. We just need a modern day James Dean and that would be Rhys Millen!
  • Groza George Our roads and bridges are crumbling and increasing vehicle weight will only make bridges crumble faster. We need more infrastructure work.