By on December 15, 2011

With only two more weeks to go in the calendar year, TTAC names GM the world’s largest automaker of 2011, followed by Volkswagen and Toyota.

Pummeled by a catastrophic tsunami in March, followed by a massive flood in Thailand, Toyota’s production and sales numbers will take a serious hit in the calendar year 2011. Global production of Toyota and Lexus vehicles is forecasted to be “at least 6.9 million units, as compared with 7.7 million units last calendar year,” Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett told TTAC. Global sales for the calendar year 2011 are forecasted to be “at least 7 million units, as compared with 7.7 million units last calendar year.”  Corbett confirmed that this number is without Daihatsu and Hino.  Projections for these units are not available.  Based on October data, we add another 900,000 for Daihatsu and Hino, which should bring the Toyota total into the neighborhood of 7.8 million units.

Considering two natural disasters, the number could have been worse. Without the disasters, Toyota most likely would be in the #2 position. Production at Toyota had peaked in 2007 to 9.5 million,  had dropped to 7.2 million in the carmageddon year of 2009, and had recovered in 2010 to 8.6 million.

We expect Volkswagen to come in at around 8.2 million units globally when the year 2011 ends. This is based on October group results and a strong showing of the Volkswagen brand in November.

For GM, we are a little in the dark. No newer data than those form the 3rd quarter are available. Based on this, we expect  GM to report global production numbers well above 9 million when the year ends.

The final numbers are educated guesses. However the spaces between all three are comfortably wide to call the race decided.

Two events could upset this:

1.)    Hyundai and Kia together climb above 7.8 million. We call this highly unlikely. By November, both reported combined sales of 5.6 million. However, this number excludes CKD exports.

2.)    Nissan and Renault will report together. This would thoroughly confuse the podium. The chances of the Renault/Nissan Alliances reporting  jointly to OICA currently are slim to none.

Looking forward to 2012, barring a major disaster in the U.S. or China, GM will most likely remain the world’s largest automaker. Unless it euthanizes Opel, it could even pierce the 10 million mark.

Volkswagen needs to keep up the momentum to defend the #2 position. Toyota will start the year with guns blazing and the lines rolling.  Recently, Volkswagen had become a little cautious in its outlook for 2012.


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12 Comments on “TTAC (Pre-) Announces World’s Largest Automakers Of 2011...”

  • avatar

    The last three years can’t be called normal to accurately declare a clear front runner. 2009 was the year GM went bankrupt, so sales were probably the lowest in decades. 2010 was when Japan was giving out massive subsidies for car buyers. Toyota with 45% share was the largest benefactor and sales went up 25% in Japan. GM being a non player did not benefit in Japan. That barely put Toyota on top by 40,000 Units. If not for the massive subsidies, GM would have outsold Toyota by half a million last year. For 2011, the subsidies in the previous year pulled forward many sales and sales collapsed in Japan. Add to it the Quake and Tsunami. So, 2011 is not a good year to declare a clear winner. Same for 2012, since there is so much pent up demand for Toyota that they just might outsell GM next year. The areas most affected by Quake, Tsunami and supply shortages are in South East Asia, where Toyota literally owns the market. All the sales losses in these regions are only temporarily deferred, so we can expect massive sales increases in 2012. Its not like people in these regions run out and buy a Chevy or Ford when their Toyota is in short supply.

    • 0 avatar

      “If not for the massive subsidies, GM would have outsold Toyota by half a million last year.”

      If not for the massive bailout, GM would have sold 0.

      • 0 avatar

        “If not for the massive bailout, GM would have sold 0.”

        Correct. Which is why the bailout was a good thing. Imagine a world without GM and Chrysler. I am sure many would love to see their beloved ToyHonda go unabated with no competition and dominate the global auto market. For the rest of us who don’t want to be seen driving feminine bland mobiles, losing GM and Chrysler would mean we are shut out of the car market for ever.

        The “KING” is back at his throne, hopefully for 75 more years.
        The Toyota hugging domestic bashing crowd better learn to live with this or they will have a miserable decades ahead.

  • avatar

    If I cared enough, I’d go over to one of the import humper sites with a bowl of popcorn and sit back to watch the Hand Wringing and Spin Show, but I don’t….
    The March earthquake was tragic for Japan but ‘lucky’ for Toyota: it gave them something to blame their fall from grace on, conveniently ignoring the fact that their numbers in North America were already tanking before their production was hampered.
    Toyota would be nothing without North America and the homeland, two markets where the future news is not going to be good in the future.

  • avatar

    I am sure many here would argue that sales numbers mean squat. I agree. However, this is a huge morale booster for GM employees. Also pretty much everyone who does not follow the Auto industry thinks GM is either dead or close. Once all the news sites, rags and other news papers declare this, people might realize how well GM is doing.

    One thing I have to ask Bertel though. In your opinion, did GM benefit from Toyota’s issues or are all of GM sales could happened anyway, quake or not?

    • 0 avatar

      GM is king in China, and would be this year regardless of the tsunami. Two of the top three cars this year in China are GM’s (Buick Excelle #1, Chevy Cruze #3).

    • 0 avatar

      In your opinion, did GM benefit from Toyota’s issues or are all of GM sales could happened anyway, quake or not?

      I would have to have the migration data to answer that. Without this: Of course GM benefited some, so did other makers. My hunch (no data) is that other import and transplant makes profited more.

      What needs to be said is this:

      First, Toyota had already given up the top spot by the end of 2010 when it planned for single digit growth in 2011. At this point it was clear that GM would pass it by. Nobody (including VW) would have thought that VW would pass them also – something that confused VW a lot.

      Second, in my opinion, the UA witchhunt and the yen hurt them much more. A natural disaster is like a broken leg. It’s temporary, limp for a while, you will be fine.

      A damaged brand and a foreign exchange is much harder to fix. I think the yen is the hardest, because it is totally out of the company’s control-

  • avatar

    I’m glad that Toyota is not going to be the largest automaker anymore. It takes the bullseye off their back and hopefully gives them some incentive to build more competitive vehicles again (it seems like they are heading in the right direction with intoduction of the FT-86 and new Lexus GS).

  • avatar

    More controversial than Daihatsu is GM China (49% GM owned) and even more so Wuling (34% GM owned).

    Taking out those two drops GM approx 2.5 million for the year.

    • 0 avatar

      Two point five million? Are you high? GM sells more than that in North America… or are you forgetting Canada and Mexico? Then there is Brazil where #3 GM sold 657k vehicles last year. (Toyota, BTW, didn’t even break 100k in Brazil.) Throw in another million units from the Eurozone… Wow, I hope you don’t do your books.
      Newsflash: a ‘partnership’ is mandatory in China. That is Communist-speak for “you transfer us gobs of technology, we let you sell a few vehicles here, then we remarket your technology in a different package when we feel we can best you.” MITI in Japan wrote the book, but I don’t think anyone ever bothered translating it into English.
      And if you took Toyota’s 1.5M GUARANTEED sales in the motherland out (because it is a closed market), then Toyota wouldn’t even be #3.
      How do you like them apples, Jungnitsch?

      • 0 avatar

        Sheesh, read it again knucklehead.

        ‘Drops GM approx 2.5 million’

        That means they go DOWN by that much. I hope YOU don’t do books.

        Minority ownership should not give GM the right to claim total sales, a fact they even allude to in their official production reports.

        And on the ‘closed market’ myth, Japan is open. The big three just didn’t make the effort to produce vehicles the Japanese wanted to buy, ie good small cars, let alone kei size vehicles. Aveos and Cavaliers/Cobalts were not going to crack that market.

        Harley, on the other hand, does very well in Japan.

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