By on December 26, 2012

Last May I said that Toyota will end the year as the world’s largest automaker with around 10 million units produced. When I did that, some people gave me a look usually reserved for people who sadly lost it. Even the good folks at Toyota did not want to comment, at least not in my face.

Toyota will end the year with 9.92 million units produced, up 26 percent on 2011.

Toyota expects (vis-a-vis Reuters) sales of 9.7 million units for 2012, however, we are tracking production, because OICA’s list of the World’s largest automakers goes by production, not by sales.  All numbers on a group level, with Daihatsu and Hino included.

Toyota could have easily pierced the 10 million barrier, if there would not have been anti-Japanese riots in China, with a subsequent near-boycott of Japanese cars in China, the effects of which could cost Toyota several hundred thousand units. In October, we corrected our forecast to “a little bit less than 10 million.” And that is what it is going to be.

China is one of the reasons why Toyota budgets very carefully for 2013.  Group-wide, Toyota expects to produce 9.94 million vehicles and sell 9.91 million vehicles in 2013, up just a hair from 2012.

The unintended acceleration scandal did not quite kill Toyota, as many had pronounced. The tsunami did not wipe out Toyota, as some had silently hoped. Toyota embarked on a mammoth come-back, and it was clear in the first half of the year that Toyota is back alright.

Now, the company is catching a breath. This will make 2013 a highly interesting neck-on-neck race between Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen. All three of them could pierce the 10 million in 2013.

P.S. OICA’s list of the world’s largest carmakers usually is issued in July or August. This year, it took well into November. It may have been held up by a scandal. Originally, this list was published. A few days later, the list was rep[laced by this one. The difference: On the new list, the results of all Chinese manufacturers are “under review.” We tried to reach OICA for a comment, but being based in Belgium, the association is on Christmas holiday.

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16 Comments on “Toyota To Close The Year 80,000 Units Shy Of 10 Million...”

  • avatar

    Did Toyota retake the crown too from Honda with the most recalls?

  • avatar

    Does this include Scion and Lexus sales? Toyota really makes a shit ton of car models when you add up their Toyota cars and trucks, the new Prius lineup, Scion, and Lexus. I’ve wondered before if this is why they sell so many cars. Seriously, no other manufacturer comes close to covering the breadth of vehicle niches that Toyota does (although fun, interesting cars do continue to elude them, FR-S withstanding).

    Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, Avalon, Sienna, Prius, Prius C, Prius V, Tacoma, Tundra, Rav-4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, FJ Cruiser, Landcruiser… ES, GS, LS, IS, CT, RX, GX, LX… Xb, Xd, Tc, FR-S… surely I’m forgetting some, and this is just USA cars.

  • avatar

    …and writing a 1.1 billion dollar check to settle class action lawsuits. Let the feast of a thousand pop corns, commence!!!!

  • avatar

    Once again the lawyers hit the deep pockets.

  • avatar

    You want to be the biggest..than suffer the consequences!
    I have ABSOLUTELY NO sympathy for Toyota.
    I really wish they would pull up stakes in the U.S.and move to another playground.
    I just finished reading ‘Unbroken’ and if I never see another Japanese car in my lifetime,I would be a very happy man.
    Go VW and G.M!!!!

  • avatar

    Germany and Japan were destined to rule the world. They tried it first the most obvious way but Soviet Union (BTW, Pacific or not but it took just one month for Red Army to terminate one million strong Japanese army with ease in Manchuria in 1945) and US stood on their way of world domination. But compare size, population and natural resourced of United States and Soviet Union combined with Japan and Germany – just take look at the map to see enormity of US territory and US seems like small country compared with SU. So two new world super powers were born and dominated the world for the rest of 20th century. But one of them has already collapsed and is not relevant anymore and another one is badly wounded consumer economy which is moving to fiscal cliff and sovereign default (or hyper-inflation which is the same thing). “As General Motors goes, so goes America” and Germans and Japanese are finally achieving the dream of world domination as industrial giants – the national goal set by their leaders in 1930s is finally coming to fruition. History lesson by Inside Looking Out.

  • avatar

    I declare Godwin.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      I noticed that people are fascinated by Hitler, German Nazis and their attributes (and Ancient Romans) because how German do stuff is mesmerizing. Even though everyone knows these days what kind of thugs and bullies Nazis were. People are not attracted to Stalin, Red Army or Japanese Emperor. Take Wehrmacht uniform – it is more hypnotising and better designed and executed that same stuff from allies. German tanks and airplanes look more menacing, over-engineered and has more presence than Soviet or American analogues. Same applies to German cars. Interesting thing is that Porsche was Nazi and the first thing my Israeli friends usually do when come to America to work – they buy used Porsche (because it is much cheaper here).

      Japanese cars are popular because they are appliances like refrigerators. But German cars are totally different animals which have an enigma attached to them which no other culture is able to reproduce. ATS may be ten times better than 3 series but will never win because it exudes American optimism and equality when 3 series looks menacing and mean in typically German way.

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