Germany’s Volkswagen is now the world’s largest motor manufacturer overtaking Japan’s Toyota which had topped sales charts for the past four years. Toyota sold an astonishing 10.175 million cars internationally during 2016 but fell short of the 10.31 million sales reported by Volkswagen during last year.
It’s the first time that Volkswagen has held the position of best-selling manufacturer, and this comes despite its scandal over emissions tests cheating which has resulted in multiple law suits and repercussions around the world.
Volkswagen, which also manufactures under the Audi, Porsche and Skoda brands, gained a 3.8% sales increase aided by rising demand in China. The Volkswagen (VAG) Group has gained sales increases in other markets too. For the first time of over half a century, Volvo was beaten to the top spot in Sweden with the Volkswagen Golf becoming the Scandinavian country’s most popular car in 2016.
Toyota’s sales grew by 0.2% but it appears to have been hit by a slowdown in the US car industry. American-based General Motors reports its figures shortly but it’s expected to lag behind the Japanese and the German firms. GM was the world’s third-largest carmaker in 2015 and held the number one spot in 2011 after Toyota’s production was affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan.