By on January 27, 2011

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 2010
Rank Name Production
1 Toyota Group 8,557,351
2 General Motors Group 8,389,769
3 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.

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5 Comments on “TTAC Announces The Top 3 Automakers Of 2010. Now With Official Numbers...”

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Production numbers are less easy to fake than sales numbers and ultimately, every car company has to give over a certain amount of working capital to churn out the metal. Whether they push production up to inflate numbers, meet sales, increase inventory, they still have to fund it.
    So there’s little incentive for a plant manager to crank up output because everybody knows that a yard full of cars is bad management.
    BTW, why does anyone actually even care what the outright sales or production numbers are, apart from bragging rights? Surely it is only the volume, share and margin trends which matter?!

  • avatar

    So what?

  • avatar

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

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

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

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