Who will be the world’s largest automaker by the end of the year?

As the race between global giants Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG gets increasingly tighter, the answer likely will remain in doubt for months to come.

Earlier in the year,  Toyota was out-delivered by Volkswagen, and the supposedly dieselgate-doomed German automaker had a clear shot at reaching its declared target and become the world’s largest. Today, the picture changed. After a sudden push in August deliveries, Toyota now leads VW – not by a whole lot, though.

World’s Largest Automakers

8 Months 2016


Jan-Aug 2016

Jan-Aug 2015


2016 proj.
















Source: Company data. GM, VW: Deliveries. Toyota: Production.  Blue: Estimate


Toyota produced 6.69 million units in the first eight months of the year, the company said in a statement today. Volkswagen recently announced that it delivered 6.66 million vehicles in the same period. Using unrounded numbers, Toyota’s deliveries now are 23,422 ahead of Volkswagen’s – a whisker-thin lead, considering that both make 10 million cars and trucks a year.

Toyota’s numbers include Daihatsu and truckmaker Hino. Volkswagen’s data count all deliveries across all its 12 brands. Formerly world’s largest automaker General Motors is no factor in the battle for the top spot.

Toyota reports both sales and production, this takes production. Volkswagen reports “deliveries” to wholesale – which is, at least for this exercise, close enough to production. GM did the same, but begun reporting retail sales for the Chinese market.

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