Volkswagen beats Toyota, taking first spot in sales

Volkswagen automaker sold 10.31 cars in 2016, a 3.8% growth over 2015

The Dollar Business Bureau

Toyota sold nearly 10.175 million vehicles across the world in 2016, less than Volkswagen’s 10.31 million auto sales in the same year. This year is particularly rewarding for Volkswagen after annual sales of 9.93 million cars in 2015.

The German automaker considered this achievement a milestone recovery, after downfall of the company’s reputation due to the controversial emission scandal. Growth of Volkswagen sales in China was a major boosting factor for its sales in the past year.

Volkswagen is on the verge of attaining the top position in global sales for the first time, lest, General Motors (GM) takes over in the last one week that remains.

GM has its manufacturing units in 37 countries. It produces its vehicles under 12 brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, HSV, Holden, Vauxhall, Baojun, Opel, Ravon, Wuling, and Jie Fang.

Toyota Motor Corporation has been a proud owner of the title of the ‘world’s highest selling automaker’ for the past four years, even though it lagged behind in production when compared to GM in 2011. Its production went down due to the occurrence of natural disasters in the north-eastern parts of Japan.

General Motors was leading in sales for approximately seven decades until Toyota’s arrival. Toyota’s increased sales in its luxury models (Prius hybrid, Camry Sedan, and Lexus) helped it ace the auto industry and leave GM behind.

Although Toyota’s worldwide sales went up by 0.25% year on year, the Japanese automaker failed to surpass Volkswagen, which grew by 3.8% in its sales. Audi, Porsche, and Skoda are some of the defining brands in Volkswagen’s kitty.

Trump’s proposed import barriers have brought tensions in global automobile industry, and if not this year, sales of most leading automakers will come under stress due to Trump’s protectionist Ámerica first’ policies in the coming years. This holds grave repercussions for Toyota’s plans of expanding manufacturing in Mexico. Since Toyota also has a greater exposure from the US markets, bigger than that of Volkswagen, it will not be easy for the Japanese automaker to rebound to its previously held first position.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 31, 2017 12:00 IST