This post has now been updated with a preliminary Top 25 models ranking.
Worldwide sales enable the measure of which car manufacturer is the biggest globally, but in 2018 this title goes to a different company depending on which vehicles are included, and which are not. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance sold 10.757 million light vehicles (+0.2%), claiming the title of #1 carmaker in the world if heavy truck sales are excluded. Once included, the VW Group advances to worldwide best-seller – a situation that also happened last year – with 10.834 million units including MAN and Scania heavy trucks (+0.9%). When excluding them VAG’s total is 10.6 million. In the detail, Nissan Group sales are down 2.8% to 5.65 million, Renault is up 3.2% to 3.88 million and Mitsubishi up 18% to 1.22 million. VW’s brand detail is as follows: VW at 6.244.900 plus 499.700 for VW Commercial, Audi at 1.812.500, Skoda at 1.253.700, Seat at 517.600 and Porsche at 265.300. As for Toyota, its total is 10.59 million vehicles including Hino heavy trucks (+2%). Excluding them, Toyota sold 10.39 million (+1%). In the detail, Toyota-Lexus is up 1.7% to 9.542.000, Daihatsu up 3.8% to 848.000 and Hino up 10.1% to 204.000. For decades the best-selling manufacturer in the world, General Motors is now distanced and doesn’t feature on the podium.
Volkswagen is down 1% worldwide in 2018, Kia up 2.4% and Renault down 5.2%.
In terms of individual brands, if you have found a detailed ranking anywhere else online it would have been inaccurate, as car companies only now are able to consolidate global figures. At BSCB we make sure we only take into account official manufacturers data. We can share with you a Top 25 brands for now, this will be expanded to a Top 50 when available. Toyota (+1.8%) is by far the most popular badge in the world with over 8.75 million units sold, distancing Volkswagen (-1%) and Ford (-9%). In the Top 10, Suzuki (+4.1%), Kia (+2.4%), Mercedes (+1.4%) and Hyundai (+1.1%) all improve their global volumes whereas Chevrolet (-1.3%), Honda (-1.2%) and Nissan (-1.1%) decelerate. Renault (-5.2%) is knocked outside of the Top 10, with Geely (+13.3%) and Jeep (+12.7%) recording the only double-digit gains in the Top 20. Peugeot (-17.9%) stumbles down due to the removal from its books of Iranian-made models, but sales of Peugeot-branded vehicles including Iran should be higher – and will be updated once Iran data is available. Mercedes (2.67m) wins the luxury crowns even when removing vans (421k) ahead of BMW (1.96m) and Audi (1.812m).
The Ford F-Series manages to rank #2 in the world almost solely on its Northern American volumes.
We can now also share with you a preliminary Top 25 models ranking, keeping in mind not all data has yet been compiled. Our annual Top 1200+ models ranking will be uploaded to this post when all data has been treated. The Toyota Corolla (-2%) is anticipated to comfortably remain the most popular nameplate on the planet as weaker sales in North America are balanced off by a strong showing in China. The new generation sedan will go on sale this year and help the model stay on top of the world. The Ford F-Series (-0.1%) once again manages a worldwide #2 spot solely on the strength of the North American market, a testimony to how implacable its domination is there. Toyota manages to place a second nameplate on the podium: the RAV4 (+3.1%) snapping the title of best-selling SUV in the world off the Nissan X-Trail (-12.4%) down to #8. The Nissan Sylphy (+11.3%) and Honda Civic (-0.8%) round up the Top 5 while the VW Tiguan (+9%) has become the grand’s best-seller worldwide for the first time, nudging past the Golf (-2.2%) fly the tiniest of margins. The Honda CR-V (-1.1%) and VW Polo (-2.8%) also going the Top 10 just as the Nissan Qashqai (+18.8%) and Toyota Hilux (+14.3%) break into the Top 20.
Full Year 2018 Top 3 groups, Top 25 brands and models vs. Full Year 2017 figures below.