Toyota Is No Longer The World's Top-Selling Automaker

Samuel SharpJan 31, 2017

German auto manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) sold a record 10.3 million vehicles last year, outpacing its Japanese rival Toyota with a 3.8 percent rise from a year earlier.

Still, it's a notable achievement for VW, which sold 10.31 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, up 3.8% from a year earlier.

In October past year analyzers and specialists predicted Volkswagen could become the world's best-selling automaker for 2016.

VW, the automaker which makes Skoda, Porsche, and Audi brands, saw a 3.8 percent rise in sales buoyed by demand in the Chinese nation.

By comparison, Toyota delivered 10.18 million vehicles last year, a more modest 0.2% year-over-year increase.

"Trump is a bigger risk for Toyota than for Volkswagen because the German auto maker has a small exposure to the USA market", said Ken Miyao, an analyst at Tokyo-based market researcher Carnorama.

For Volkswagen, last year's gains came primarily from China, where it is the largest seller of new vehicles.

VW is still dealing with the fallout of its cheating of environmental tests - including legal action from individual vehicle owners in the United Kingdom who claim they were misled by the company.

Despite the sales hit it took due to the diesel scandal, Volkswagen overtook Toyota for the global sales crown.

USA vehicle giant General Motors posts its annual sales figures next week, but is set to take the bronze position behind both Toyota and VW.

Watching Volkswagen and Toyota fight it out for the title of world's best-selling automaker has become a bit of a spectator sport in recent years. Toyota sales fell on-year in the USA, but they rose in China.

Volkswagen's claim to the world's largest carmaker comes as the company is entangled in an emissions scandal.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to fight Trump's protectionist trade plans, meeting Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda this week ahead of his date with Trump in Washington next month to discuss a trade deal that will have the motor industry at its core.

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