Early indications suggest that the top-five selling vehicle groups worldwide in 2010 were Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Company and Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). The fourth and fifth places have yet to be secured, with Ford’s full-year total as yet unpublished.
Hyundai and Kia‘s combined sales of 5.7 million units should put HMC safely within the top five, along with the confirmed top-three, namely Toyota (8.42 million), GM (8.39 million) and Volkswagen Group (7.14 million). The difference between Ford Motor Co. and HMC claiming fourth or fifth place is likely to be down to a few thousand units.
To keep ahead of HMC, Ford Motor Co. will need to report sales as close as possible to 6 million units for 2010, and 6.5 million for 2011. It has been close before, of course, with 6.555 million units in 2007 and 5.532 million in 2008. However, in 2009 it sold 4.817 million units, with a million fewer sales compared to 2007 in a much-decreased North American market. There’s reason to be hopeful, though, with the company expected to report a year-on-year rise in North American sales in 2010.
The difference between Ford Motor Co. and HMC claiming fourth or fifth place is likely to be down to a few thousand units.
Much of the year was spent recovering from an appalling 2009. Ford and GM regrouped after divesting brands. GM underwent numerous management restructures, and an IPO. Ford focused on profit, and at the end of January, is expected to announce for 2010 its largest profit in a decade. Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia, meanwhile, steadily grew, building new plants and, particularly in Volkswagen’s case, investing heavily in R&D. Rather than worry about 2009, Toyota had to focus on the events of 2010. It managed to hold on to the number one slot despite a recall scandal which, although global, hit its sales and reputation much harder in some regions than in others. Needless to say, the absence of that scandal would have seen Toyota well clear of GM, rather than under 50,000 units ahead. “Events…”
Whilst Volkswagen has a whole roster of brands to assist it in competing for a top-three place, HMC’s two brands have grown steadily globally, fully in line with the strategy implemented in the early 2000s to become a top-five global player.
As we await the publication of more full-year results, let’s consider which other brands could challenge Hyundai as a brand, and HMC as a group.
HMC’s 5.7 million sales were made up of 3.61 million Hyundai sales, and 2.09 million Kia sales (up 26.5% y-o-y). Nissan managed 3.36 million sales in 2009, and its 2010 result is expected to exceed that. Alliance partner Renault recently announced a group sales result for 2010 of 2.63 million units, a 13.7% increase year-on-year. Assuming Nissan’s 2010 sales are up over 2009, the two companies’ combined total would see the Alliance comfortably ahead of Hyundai-Kia. However, for the purposes of such rankings, the Alliance partners are generally listed separately.
Honda, yet to publish 2010 data, sold 3.392 million units in 2009, down 10% on 2008′s record 3.789 million units. PSA Peugeot Citroen announced record sales in 2010, at just over 3.6 million units. However, the Hyundai brand alone sold 3.61 million units. Fiat-Chrysler, which has ambitions of 6 million sales by 2014, has much to do to climb the list. Fiat Auto barely achieved a million units in Europe, whilst Chrysler reported 1.6 million sales globally.
Now it’s made the top five, HMC’s strategy is to stay there.
For 2011, HMC is targeting combined sales of 6.33 million units; Toyota is aiming for just under 8.7 million. Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn has said that 2011 will be a “key year”, and the company reportedly expects a 5% sales increase this year, giving it 7.5 million units.
Whilst Volkswagen has a whole roster of brands to assist it in competing for a top-three place, HMC’s two brands have grown steadily globally, fully in line with the strategy implemented in the early 2000s to become a top-five global player. It currently has no ambitions of fighting for a top-three place. Instead, it will focus on remaining a manufacturer of ‘quality mainstream vehicles’. Now it’s made the top five, HMC’s strategy is to stay there.