With Volkswagen (VW) facing the dieselgate scandal you would be hard-pressed to think that their sales would slow down considerably. While their sales did slow down in the United States, VW has actually overtaken Toyota and General Motors (GM) as the world’s top-selling car manufacturer. Defying the trend of auto sales winding down as of late, VW sets sales figures higher than that of Toyota and GM over this year’s first quarter.
In comparison to last year’s data, VW yields a 0.6 percent increase in sales at 3,361,600 units. This keeps them ahead of Toyota by 90,000 units. On the other hand, Toyota’s sales are down by 2.8 percent compared to last year at 3,271,970 cars sold. GM, carrying brands such as Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall, also reported dwindling sales at 1.6 percent down from the first quarter of 2015 with an estimated sales figure of 3,146,667 this first quarter of 2016.
VW mainly attributes their sales to their two biggest markets, namely the European region and China. Sales in Europe went up on the first quarter of 2016 while the sales in china rose by 5 percent. This was enough to offset VW’s 5.1 percent loss of sales in the US market. China accounts for one-third of VW’s global sales.
Toyota’s drop in sales meanwhile was due to the automaker’s refusal to build new plants. Contributing to this is their oversaturation of some key markets such as the US. Despite having sales in its home market go up, the increase was not enough to compensate for the losses abroad. Its other brands, Lexus, Hino and recently acquired Daihatsu, all had mixed results as well. The company reported that Hino sales went up by 26 percent and Daihatsu sales are up by 2.5 percent in their home market but slowed down abroad. Lexus on the other hand drops down to third in the US luxury car sales charts behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Volkswagen, given their goal to be the biggest car manufacturer by 2018, are now back on track of that goal. They continue to pursue this with more investment in electric vehicles as well as an expansion of their growing lineup at the time of writing. Toyota however estimates they may be able to sell 10.5 million vehicles this year, a number that’s higher than VW’s 10.05 million estimate.