World's Largest Carmakers 2013: Tight Race Could Be Won By All Three

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
world s largest carmakers 2013 tight race could be won by all three

Toyota released global production numbers for the first quarter of 2013 today, which gives us a chance to officially initiate our 2013 tracking of the World’s Largest Automakers, based on hard data. Having made 2.5 million units in the first three months, Toyota maintains its lead over runner-up GM and third-place Volkswagen, however, the field is tight.

Tracking the world’s largest automakers: Q1 2013Q1’13Q1 ’12YoYFull Year Est.Toyota2,515,4142,705,770-7.0%10,061,656GM2,360,9582,278,1923.6%9,443,832Volkswagen2,270,0002,160,0005.1%9,080,000Source: Company data. Toyota: Production, GM: Sales.VW: Deliveries TTAC rough estimate

In the first quarter, Toyota is 154,000 units ahead of GM, only 91,000 units behind GM follows Volkswagen. Toyota had planned for a flat 2013 to digest the large increases in the prior year. Asked why his company is down by seven percent in the first quarter, Tokyo-based Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said that this is largely a mathematical phenomenon: “In the first quarter of 2012, we were still in the catch-up phase and worked overtime after the natural disasters of 2011.” Indeed, Toyota’s worldwide output in the first quarter of 2012 had jumped 66 percent over the first quarter of 2011, which had only be down 14 percent compared to the prior year. The full impact of the disasters was felt only in the months later.

The on-going troubles of Japanese brands in China affected the Q1 results, but only marginally. Toyota’s first quarter production in China stood at 176,000 units, Corbett says. That is down 17.2 percent. In a tight race like this year’s however, every unit counts.

Overall, Toyota is well positioned to maintain its lead throughout the year, and to end the year as the first automaker to pass the 10 million unit mark. A lot can and does happen throughout the year, and the race is still winnable by all three, with varying degrees of difficulty. Volkswagen is held back by a dismal Europe, however, via Opel, GM has to contend with the same problem, albeit to a lesser numerical degree. Toyota’s exposure in Europe is minor. GM and Volkswagen are neck-on-neck in China, where Toyota will continue to suffer. All three are well established to profit from a growing U.S. market, GM and Toyota more so than VW. Slightly off most RADARs, Toyota will gain most from a surging Southeast Asian market. 2012 total sales in the region (including India) exceeded 9 million, with most indicators pointing up. Toyota’s sales in the region were around 1.5 million. “That’s roughly double of what we sell in China, and in China, we have to share,” quipped a Toyota executive a while ago.

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  • Lie2me Lie2me on Apr 24, 2013

    This just in... TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fall in China and Japan.

  • Ed Berry Ed Berry on Apr 24, 2013

    General Motors 2.0 doesn't really belong in the top three. They are bound to keep shrinking. Volkswagen is gaining market share in Europe in the recession at the expense of PSA, Opel etc, which means they will be in a good position in Europe when the European economy picks up speed again. Toyota is very slowly gaining in Europe, they can't shed the image as boring rice cookers. But they don't need Europe to be biggest when they do so well in America and Asia.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.