Volkswagen Takes Lead from Toyota as World’s Largest Automaker

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Volkswagen Takes Lead from Toyota as World’s Largest Automaker

Despite the massive dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen has managed to pass Toyota as the world’s largest automaker in the first half of 2016.

Volkswagen sales have actually increased 1.5 percent through the first half of this year, despite the fact that it announced late last year that it cheated on diesel emissions tests. The German automaker has sold 5.12-million vehicles through June, compared to Toyota’s 4.99 million. However, it was the same case last year with Volkswagen, who held a lead over Toyota after the first six months of 2015 but couldn’t hold on once the emissions scandal broke.

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Brand Sales Up for First Time Since January

But now, the scandal’s effect on sales has mostly been contained within the U.S., which is one of Volkswagen’s smallest markets anyways. Vehicles sales in the U.S. dropped 7.2 percent for the first half of 2016, but Volkswagen saw a 3.8 percent increase in Europe and a 6.8 percent increase in China.

Toyota however could close the gap since production was slowed down as a result of an earthquake in April in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture. Following Toyota in the rankings is General Motors.

[Source: USA Today]

Discuss this story on our Volkswagen Forum

  • LHB58

    If I didn’t have a Toyota FJ I would have a Volkswagen. One of the best cars I ever had was a ’73 Super Beetle. I got 185k miles out of the air cooled engine and made it from Denver to Ft. Collins CO on evenings where blizzards made it looked like a demolition derby. I don’t care if they “cheated” on some stupid emissions test. They make some awesome cars and trucks.

  • Jeff Paine

    “Volkswagen sales have actually increased 1.5 percent through
    the first half of this year, despite the fact that it announced late
    last year that it cheated on diesel emissions tests.”

    Given the anti-Establishment-government mood of regular car-buying people in Western nations, maybe Volkswagen benefited from sticking their thumb in the eye of Big-Bureaucracy…

  • Howie

    I totally agree that some customers don’t mind or are not that unhappy with the situation. Plus there will be compensations… and a lot of car to replace ! You may even see VW sales go quite up because of that. After all, they are good cars, and the company is well established in China, while Toyota faces more and more competition in US market (more brands and low gas).

    Nevertheless, the huge problem for VW won’t be sale volume but profit… They became (close to) number one by buying other manufacturers at cost and now they have to invest a lot in a turnaround from diesel.

    On the other hand, it is the third year in a row that medias announce in July that VW is the new number one… to no materialization at the end of the year. Maybe this time !

  • Mike

    You should get paid to stfu

  • Mike

    Stick with your Toyota; German reliability is a thing of the past. It would be nothing short of a miracle for a new Volkswagen to hit 100,000 miles without a serious repair.

  • LHB58

    It’s always a tough choice Mike. I am very active on the FJ Cruiser forums and before that I was very active on BMW 3 series forums. Who would have thought anybody could pull 185K miles out of an air cooled engine? My check engine light never came on once in my BMW before it got totaled after 9 years. Never happened to anybody before. The FJ Cruiser is arguably the best 4×4 ever built, but you will find people telling their tales of serious woe on the FJ boards. I think buying a car is like rolling dice. You buy a Jeep and the dice are loaded against you. Buy a Toyota and they are loaded in you favor. But make no mistake about it you are always taking a gamble.

  • Mike

    I agree completely that any car purchase is equivalent to rolling a dice. I had a 1995 Toyota Camry that was a never ending money pit. Although it never left me stranded, things were CONSTANTLY going wrong with it. On the other hand I’m still driving my college car; a 2000 Toyota Camry with only 84,500+ miles and luckily has no issues (knock on wood).

    I have never heard anything positive about Volkswagen. My friends, Consumer Reports, and the Volkswagen forums do not inspire much confidence. Although anecdotal, I had a friend who owned a VW Beetle and she couldn’t wait to dump it. On the other hand, my two other VW friends own a CC and a Jetta TDI. They have no complaints whatsoever. The TDI owner is about to purchase a BMW 3 series.