Volkswagen is still Number One
Despite being branded as global emissions cheater, the Volkswagen Group of Germany is still the world’s top car producer in June and year-to-date, according to results published by car industry analyst, JATO, in a report that also sees Renault-Nissan replace Toyota as the world’s second-placed manufacturer, although there is barely a gap.
The statistics put together by JATO do not include commercial trucks nor buses, and reflects more of the retail end of vehicles, and interestingly shows growth of 3% across the board for most manufacturers. This does seem to be contrary to all the previous predictions throughout the industry that peak sales had been hit; this is now being seen as a purely American phenomenon, where light vehicle sales actually slid by 3% for the first half of the year.
Of course both GM and VW are both very dependent on the China market, where growth has slowed to 2.5% and competition continues to heat up. This is probably why VW managed only a 1.3% global growth rate. On the other hand, GM only managed 0.2%, but then, it did sell its Opel/Vauxhall brand to PSA, a move that will cost it about one million units this year alone.
Keep watching both Renault and Hyundai this year, but for two very different reasons. Renault is ideally poised to benefit from the re-opening of the Iranian car market and is ideally positioned in Eastern Europe and South America, two regions that are beating the global 3% growth mark. Hyundai and its twin, KIA, have been hit by the perfect storm of contracting markets and crisis fall-out, both at home and in particular in the world’s largest car market of China. Year-to-date sales have slumped by 11.5% but perhaps more worrying for them was the 18.1% contraction in June alone.
You have come a long way baby…