Toyota Remains World’s Largest Automaker, But VW Closing Gap

With Toyota in the top spot in terms of global sales, Volkswagen has passed General Motors to take the number two spot. 

With a total of 5.1 million vehicles sold since January, Toyota is still the sales leader, but Volkswagen isn’t far behind with 5.07 million vehicles sold during the same period. General Motors managed selling 4.92 million vehicles, rounding out the top three in global sales.

VW’s popularity in China helped the German company catch up to its Japanese rival, as Toyota is fairly new to the Chinese market and less popular.

On more familiar territory Toyota has the lead over Volkswagen in the US, where a change in consumer habits has put a greater focus on crossovers and SUVs than sedans. Volkswagen’s three-row crossover is still a year away and not having the flavor of the month is hurting its sales in America. A telling report by Bloomberg points out that Toyota and Lexus SUV models are out selling Volkswagen and Audi by seven-to-one in the U.S.

Analysts are pegging Volkswagen to overtake Toyota and become the world’s largest automaker by the end of the year, a feat that would put the company four years ahead of schedule.