Tokyo-based Toyota Motor Corp. has held on to the global sales crown for the last three years as the world’s top-selling automaker. As you well know, Toyota is the owner of three distinct and popular car brands: Scion on the lower end, Toyota in the mid range, and Lexis as their luxury vehicle line.
That’s not to say that Scion is a cheap auto brand. Scion was created initially so Toyota could appeal to a younger audience. At the time, the average age demographic for people who purchased brand-new Toyota vehicles was 44 and rising. Toyota created Scion to lower that number and appeal to a new generation.
Let’s not forget that Toyota makes the Toyota Camry and the Prius Hybrid – one of the top selling vehicle models in the world thanks to its sleek design, excellent gasoline economy and luxurious feel.
Toyota does not expect the auto industry to grow or shrink in the world’s largest markets – namely, the United States and Japan. Emerging markets – such as Thailand and Indonesia – have sustained steady growth in the last three years. However, even they are expected to plateau in 2016.
Almost Overtaken by Volkswagen AG
In the first half of 2015, Volkswagen sales exceeded that of Toyota. However, an emissions scandal was revealed within Volkswagen. Brand-new Volkswagen vehicles were found with software installed that cheats emissions tests. As a result, Volkswagen sales plateaued off, leaving Toyota with the sales crown.
VW are quite likely to be reeling from the diesel emissions cheating scandal for quite some time, not only experiencing lost sales due to flagging consumer confidence in their brands, but also as the result of potentially enormous financial penalties. On the other hand, Toyota will be secretly pleased that they have stuck to their hybrid solution as the world turns from diesel to hybrid, and ultimately, pure electric cars. All of which would seem to almost guarantee Toyota the 2016 crown as well — even though that race hasn’t even started yet!
10.23 Million Vehicles in 2014
Toyota has sold an impressive 10 million+ vehicles per year since before 2014. In 2014, they sold 10.23 million vehicles. This year, Toyota has sold 10.098 million cars and the auto giant expects to sell 10.114 million vehicles in 2016. These numbers have more than a handful of auto manufacturers squirming in their seats.
Toyota Surpassed Everybody – Including Detroit-based GM
For over 70 years straight, the world’s top-selling auto manufacturer was General Motors in Detroit. If you recall, Toyota had a rocky start in the 1980s. However, in 2008, Toyota stole the global sales crown from under GM’s feet and had been the world’s top-selling auto manufacturer since – except in 2011. In 2011, General Motors took that honor.