One of the biggest stories in the motor trade this month is the fact that there is a new company with the title of world’s best selling automaker. Volkswagen AG claimed the place after reporting record sales of 10.3 million vehicles in 2016, up 3.8%.
Toyota Motor Corp was previously the best selling automaker in the world. It first claimed the honour in 2008, displacing General Motors. The American company had held it for an incredible 77 years. The title changed hands in 2011 but Toyota earned it back the following year and held it until 2015.
The last year has been a tricky one for Toyota. They reported sales of 10.175 million vehicles, with growth at just 0.2%. The lag between them and VW is caused by falling demand in China due to tax increases causing the price of their vehicles to rise. On top of this the North American market has been slowing down, particularly in the US.
2017 will be a very interesting year for both VW and Toyota. They will both be competing heavily in the US and China, with most other markets around the world expected to remain relatively stable. VW may experience difficulties in China though with the tax reduction on their products set to expire. Even with this though, they are expecting sales in the country to be around 3 million vehicles.
Volkswagen is benefitting from the aggressive expansion strategy they put in place ten years ago. Since then interest in their brands, including Audi and Porsche, has risen around the world. It will be interesting to see what their next strategy includes now that they are the number one automaker in the world in terms of sales.
Toyota is already looking to regain its crown with further investments in the US. Over the next five years they will invest another $10 billion dollars. As part of this they will be creating new motor trade jobs in the country to boost production there.
At John Gibson Associates we will be keeping an eye out to see what this big change in the industry means for the market in the UK. There could be a number of knock on affects and we will be on hand to help clients who need to fill motor trade jobs across Britain.