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World Full Year 2015: Toyota #1 manufacturer as VW backs off

Toyota Tacoma World 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comToyota Tacoma. Toyota is the #1 manufacturer in the world in 2015. Picture

Toyota Motor Corp. remains the best-selling manufacturer in the world in 2015 and for the 4th consecutive year, becoming the only company to deliver more than 10 million vehicles this year as the Volkswagen Group backed off as a result of its emissions scandal. Global sales for Toyota Motor, including its Hino and Daihatsu units, are down 0.8% to 10.15 million vehicles whereas Volkswagen is down 2% to 9.9 million units including its MAN and Scania heavy truck brands. General Motors for its part is up 0.2% to 9.8 million, another very close finish on the overall podium this year.

VW Golf World 2015. Picture courtesy emissions scandal cost Volkswagen Group the coveted #1 worldwide spot.

Volkswagen led the way halfway through the year but had to give up the top spot to the Japanese manufacturer as it got embroiled in its biggest crisis so far, being forced to halt sales of diesels in some markets such as the U.S. and scrambling to repair some 11 million cars. The Volkswagen brand is down 5% to 6.254m units, overtaken by the Ford brand (6.514m), while Audi is up 4%, Skoda and Seat up 2% and Porsche up 19%. To make it five consecutive wins, Toyota has bought the rest of its 51% share in Daihatsu, in a move to strengthen its position in emerging markets, notably South-East Asia.

Baojun 560 China September 2015. Picture courtesy shwuling.comChina-exclusive Baojun allowed General Motors to post a 3rd record year in a row.

In third place, General Motors owes its third consecutive year of record global sales to its Chinese operations where it outpaced Volkswagen Group to rank #1 overall at 3.612.653 deliveries (+5%) vs. 3.548.600 (-3%). If the Chevrolet brand crumbles by 7% worldwide partly due to its retreat from Europe, Buick is lifted 9% by China, GMC is up a very healthy 11%, but it’s the Chinese-only entry level Baojun brand that enables GM to stay in positive worlwide this year, accounting for an additional 300.000 units in 2015 thanks to the tremendous success of the 730 MPV and 560 crossover (pictured above).

Renault Kwid World 2015. Picture courtesy motorbeam.comRenault-Nissan may have cracked the Indian market wide open with the Renault Kwid.

The Renault-Nissan alliance gains a timid 0.8% to hit a record 8.53m deliveries, with Nissan Motor up 2% to 5.42m vehicles and the Renault Group up 3% to 2.8m sales compensating a 30% drop at Avtovaz (Lada). Brand-wise, Nissan ends the year just below 5 million sales, cementing its 4th place overall below Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen, Renault is up 2% to 2.17m units, Dacia continues to improves at +8% and 550.920 sales, China-only Venucia is up 9% to 124.000 deliveries and recently relaunched Datsun posts a still very models 86.000 units in four major markets (Russia, Indonesia, India and South Africa).

Genesis EQ900 South Korea 2015Can the new Genesis brand bring Hyundai-Kia back to high profit rates?

Hyundai-Kia follows in 5th place in the Global Groups ranking for 2015 with stable sales at 7.88m but declining profits. Hyundai is the 5th best-selling brand in the world at 4.96m sales while Kia ranks #9 at 2.92m. Ford posts the largest year-on-year gain among the Top 10 Groups in the world by far: up 5% to 6.63m sales and its namesake brand outpaces Volkswagen to rank #2 overall with 6.51m units sold.

Jeep Renegade World 2015Jeep’s outlandish growth was cancelled by Fiat’s decline in 2015. 

In 7th place we find FCA Fiat-Chrysler Automobile: behind Sergio Marchione’s tranquil confidence hide stagnating – albeit more profitable – worldwide sales at 4.6m units. A very momentous change of balance is happening right before our eyes at FCA: while Fiat sales plummet 12% to 1.67m vehicles, handicapped by horrendous scores in Latin America, the Jeep brands keep posting outlandish growth rates: +21% to 1.3m units in 2015.

Mercedes GLE World 2015Mercedes surged 13% in 2015, closing in on BMW for the title of #1 luxury brand in the world.

In the luxury race, BMW celebrates 11 consecutive years in the #1 spot but is now under intense pressure from Mercedes, jumping from #3 in 2014 to #2 this year. Sales of BMW-branded cars are up 6% or exactly 100.000 units year-on-year to 1.91m, while Mercedes-branded vehicles are up a whipping 13% to 1.87m, outpacing Audi up just 5% to 1.8m. Note all three brands lodge all-time record years in 2015. In the case of Mercedes this is the 5th record year in a row, and the German luxury manufacturer benefitted from very strong gains in China where it surged 33% to 373.459 sales.

This post will be updated as more manufacturers report 2015 sales. If you have access to 2015 data that has not yet appeared here, please ensure to send it through in the comments section of the article.

Previous post: World First Half 2015: Volkswagen outsells Toyota for the first time

Previous year (brands): World Full Year 2014: Toyota still #1, BMW leads luxury sales

Previous year (markets):  World Full Year 2014: Total sales data now available for 144 countries

Previous year (models):  World Full Year 2014: Discover the Top 1000 best-selling models

Full Year 2015 Top 15 Groups and All available Brands Rankings vs. Full 2014 figures below.

Sales by region for Volkswagen Group, General Motors, Renault Group and PSA Peugeot-Citroen below.

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