The results are in. And it’s clear that a lot of things happened in 2015. Toyota kept its crown as the largest automaker in the world. Recalls from the faulty Takata air bags reached an all-time high – especially in the United States. Honda, a Japanese a carmaker that’s not nearly as big as Toyota, reached a record year. Here’s your 2015 auto recap.
Toyota Reaches the Top Again
Despite the fact that Toyota’s global production declined 2 percent last year, they still managed to sell 10,083,783 cars last year, beating both of Volkswagen and General Motors for the fourth year in a row. Volkswagen came in second place with their global sales number reaching 9.93 million. It wasn’t any surprise that their sales fell 2 percent in 2015 because of the emissions scandal in the first half of the year. General Motors was in third place with 9.8 million vehicles sold.
Toyota’s decline was due to 4.2 percent reduction in production in Japan, ending up with 4,035,434 units within the country borders, and a 0.4 percent production cut outside Japan, which brings their numbers to 6,048,349 foreign units sold.
The Takata Air Bags
Before every automaker cut ties with Takata, they were the largest air bag manufacturer in the world, serving both Japanese, German and U.S. automakers. A lawsuit those filed in Florida initiated a series of massive recalls. In the United States, 51.26 million cars were recalled due to the defective airbags.
The automakers, altogether announced almost 900 recalls, recalling over 50.99 million vehicles. Due to the strict safety regulations in the United States, this country had it the worst. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration raised the recall of vehicles installed with the defective Takata airbags by an additional 5 million units. Initially, it was 28 million units in 24 million cars.
Japanese cars were not the only ones affected by Takata. A new fatality, this time involving a Ford vehicle, raised this number by another 1 million recalls. Additional testing increased it by another 4 million. The thing is that since “Takata” sounds Japanese and is a Japanese company, the stain of its misdeeds has tended to disproportionately affect Japanese car makers.
Affected automakers included BMW, Honda, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Daimler Trucks North America and Daimler Vans USA LLC.
Honda Had a Record Year
Let’s not forget the great year Honda has had.
Honda’s auto production in Japan was down by 23.8 percent, selling a total of 730,493 units. However, they did raise production by a record 3,813,345 units elsewhere, outside of Japan. This equates to a 7.2 percent increase beyond Japan’s borders. Globally, the Japanese automaker produced 4,543,838 vehicles, giving them a record sales year for 2015. Comparing the numbers, Honda grew by 0.7 percent from 2014 to 2015.