Inauspicious start of the 2019 race for World’s Largest Automaker: Last year’s winner Volkswagen and last year’s runner-up, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance show sudden signs of fatigue and both start the year with a minus sign in front. Toyota Group on the other hand starts the year with a nearly 5% growth in production. Round one goes to Toyota.
And now the necessary caveat:
The race for World’s Largest Automaker is not decided by sales, but by production, and this analysis attempts to track production, not sales, because this is how the world automaker umbrella organization OICA ranks automakers.
Due to the different methodologies of their measurement, “sales” numbers have proven to be unreliable, and prone to ‘sales reporting abuses,” as recent scandals in the U.S., along with rampant “self-registrations” in the EU have shown.
At the same time, data reported by automakers are becoming increasingly hard to compare.
Toyota reports production and sales. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which can be cars dumped on dealer lots, or actual sales to customers. The Alliance numbers used to be a blend of production data reported by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and deliveries reported by Renault. As of September 2018, Renault started to report sales only, forcing us to use those.