Toyota shoves Volkswagen aside, takes global auto sales crown

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Toyota recaptures title of world’s largest automaker from Volkswagen.

Through the first nine months of this year the Japanese automaker sold just under 7.5 million vehicles, making it the world’s largest car company. The Japanese auto giant has announced it sold 7.49 million vehicles from January to September, compared to 7.43 million sold by Volkswagen as both automakers released their results this month.

The September results include less than two weeks of sales figures after Volkswagen admitted to installing software dubbed “defeat devices” in some of its cars to cheat diesel emissions figures. Total sales at Toyota and its subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Co rose 13.6 per cent from the first eight months of the year, although sales were 1.5 per cent lower from the same period last year. “Toyota will be the No. 1 for this year. Volkswagen may be facing sales difficulties due to the scandal toward next year in Europe and the U.S., and I don’t see the Chinese market coming back anytime soon,” Koji Endo, auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan, told Bloomberg. But the German carmaker, which also owns the Audi and Porsche brands, has been under fire after admitting last month it installed software in diesel vehicles to deceive US regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions. Now, the fourth quarter reflects a crucial test for Volkswagen, which is facing numerous investigations and a hail of criticism over its installation of manipulative software on 11 million vehicles to cheat emissions tests.

The company has stopped selling the diesel cars involved in the scandal until it can deliver a fix, leaving dealers with a gaping hole in their lineup. Even before the scandal erupted, some analysts thought Volkswagen’s dash for global sales had made the company cumbersome and complex with more than 300 models and almost 120 factories. Toyota overtook GM in 2008 and has held the top spot every year except for 2011 when a tsunami in north-east Japan disrupted production and allowed GM to retake the lead.

With Volkswagen in disarray, Toyota is preparing to release the first redesign in almost seven years of its top-selling Prius hatchback, promising a sportier ride and greater fuel efficiency.

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