Toyota has regained its top spot as the leading carmaker in terms of sales, overtaking Volkswagen AG as the German carmaker struggles with a growing emissions scandal.
Toyota Reclaims Global Sales Lead Amidst VW Scandal
On Monday, Toyota announced that it had sold 7.49 million vehicles throughout the year, going beyond the 7.43 million reported by VW this month. For both carmakers, deliveries fell by 1.5 percent.
These figures entail sales reporting of less than two weeks by the German carmaker following the emissions- cheating scandal. Volkswagen admitted to using software to rig diesel engines in order to lie to regulators about the vehicle’s pollution levels.
Although Volkswagen had higher global sales than Toyota in the first half of the year, the company is presently preparing repairs for 11 million vehicles globally. The German automaker has also stopped selling diesel vehicles in some markets to ensure engines are in compliance with emission standards.
Losing the Chinese market
In China, Volkswagen’s largest market, demand is at a slowdown, with the brand falling 7.4 percent in the first nine months of this year.
According to Koji Endo, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan, “Toyota will take the number one position for this year.”
Endo further added, “VW is facing sales challenges as a result of the scandal and this will continue into next year in the US and Europe. I do not see demand in China growing any time soon.”
Following the VW emissions scandal, CEO Martin Winterkorn was forced to resign. Winterkorn’s goal was to push the company past its main competitors, General Motors and Toyota to lead in global sales. Deliveries at GM fell 1.9 percent down to 7.2 million units in the first nine months of the year.
As Volkswagen sales decline, Toyota is readying its Prius hatchback deliveries. The vehicle is set to be sportier, with an improved fuel economy. Sale for the Prius will flag off in Japan before yearend.