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Which automotive groups dominate the world market?


While there are many automotive groups in the auto market, some have more brands of cars than others, and most importantly, the strength of assets varies by manufacturer. Here is an overview of the groups and their weight in the global automotive market.

3 major global groups compete for the biggest share of the pie: Volkswagen, Toyota and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. So much so that a war of numbers is launched between its three groups. In addition, there is also competition which can be changing, at the rate of group acquisitions.

A place of first world automobile manufacturer disputed

Volkswagen group


The German group Volkswagen is one of the behemoths of the market, founded in 1937 by Ferdinand Porsche, its head office is located today in the city of Wolfsburg in Germany.

To its credit no less than 8 car brands, including in general consumer brands:

  • Volkswagen
  • Seat
  • Skoda

As well as high-end or very high-end brands such as:

The network of car brands on the part of the German group allows it to be very efficient in Europe, with almost a quarter of new car sales on the old continent.

The group can count on the Volkswagen brand to drastically inflate its figures with no less than 6.639 250 million cars sold in 2017. Despite the scandal in 2015, linked to the brand’s diesel vehicles, caused by a far too permissive approval cycle , the Volkswagen group still places itself as one of the predominant players in the automotive industry.

Toyota group


If the German car brand sells many vehicles around the world, it is beaten by the Japanese firm Toyota! Selling no less than 7,843,423 units in 2017, it is the brand selling the most cars in the world.

Established all over the world, acclimating to the habits and customs of the different continents, also possessing brands like Lexus or Daihatsu in their pockets, it is one of the major players in the world car fleet. Until 2016, the Toyota group was at the top of automotive sales worldwide. Since then, competition has increased, with the Volkswagen group, as well as a new coalition of players!

The Renault – Nissan – Mitsubishi association


This coloration is made up of the Franco-Japanese association Renault – Nissan, which have been cooperating together since 1999, as well as Mitsubishi, which sold 34% of its shares to Nissan in 2016. The addition of the Japanese brand allows the association to compete with Volkswagen and Toyota.

Active level, the alliance includes car brands such as:

  • Dacia
  • Lada
  • AvtoVAZ
  • Alpine
  • Infiniti
  • Datsun
  • Venucia

These assets allow the automotive group to have an excellent network of the territory, with a presence throughout Europe, Africa and Russia thanks to Renault, Dacia and Lada, on the American territory with the strong establishment of the brand. Nissan and in Asia with the Japanese brands Nissan and Mitsubishi.

A war between three automotive groups

The situation is such that in 2017, the three groups are standing in a pocket handkerchief. Volkswagen ranks at the top of vehicle sales in 2017, with 10.74 million vehicles sold worldwide, follows in 2nd position the Renault – Nissan – Mitsubishi alliance with 10.6 million vehicles sold, finally the Toyota group completes the podium with 10.35 million sales.

If according to official figures, the German automobile group Volkswagen is the sales leader, there is a point of debate with the Franco-Japanese alliance. Indeed, in its figures, the Volkswagen group also accounts for the sales of its MAN and Scania heavy-duty vehicles. Excluding sales of heavy goods vehicles (around 200,000 vehicles), the German group is behind the Renault – Nissan – Mitsubishi alliance.

However, if there are position wars between the two groups, until 2016 Toyota claimed its place as the world’s number one automaker, including sales of its heavyweight brand Hino.

The next episode will be interesting to watch, because if the top 3 seems solidly installed, certain automotive groups can join this fight for the next few years.

The other brand groupings

Automotive manufacturers that are close behind the top 3

Other automotive groups are well behind the top three, including the Korean group Hyundai – Kia, which totaled around 7.55 million vehicles sold last year.

Long number 2 in the world behind Volkswagen, the group of the American giant Ford has only one other brand of car from its fiefdom (Lincoln) and therefore plummets in the world hierarchy. Conversely, Ford can boast of being the third world manufacturer with 5.9 million Ford sold in 2017.

Also to note the performance of the Italian-American group Fiat Chrysler Automobile, with 4.74 million vehicles sold last year, it is one of the automobile groups with the most assets in the world, notably with Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Abarth, Dodge, Jeep, as well as Maserati at the level of high-end brands.

Grouping that we have not yet touched on, but which has long won the first places in the world, it is General Motors.

Les mouvements importants

Indeed, if still in 2012 the American giant was at the top of the ranking of global manufacturers, today the brand has decided to turn to more profitable markets, even if it means selling fewer vehicles. With brands like Chevrolet and Opel, General Motors decided in 2017 to sell its German car brand to the French group PSA (Peugeot-Citroën)!

An important decision for the American group because Opel was the stronghold of the group in Europe with no less than 1.09 million vehicles sold on the old continent, out of a total of 1.12 million vehicles registered worldwide. This movement is explained by poor management of Opel by General Motors, multiplying strategic errors. In total, Opel made the American firm lose nearly $ 15 billion.

Movements like this, or even that of Mitsubishi by the Nissan group are transfers that allow the world hierarchy to be changed.

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About Latonya P. Waller

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