After 4 years, car manufacturer Volkswagen has surpassed its major competitor Toyota again and can now boast to be the world's largest car seller. A remarkable feat considering its cheating software scandal.
Larger growth for Volkswagen
In 2016, Volkswagen sold 10.3 million cars, a 3.8 % increase compared to 2015 and 100,000 cars more than Toyota, which only grew 0.2 % compared to 2015. Toyota struggled in the United States, while Volkswagen's increased sales in its largest market, China, helped it become number one again. However, an advantageous Chinese tax deal will end this year, which may have its impact on car sales in the market that generates 39 % of its global car sales.
Both brands also have to take into account President Donald Trump's decisions, as he seeks to place heavy import taxes on foreign products. Particularly Toyota stands to lose a lot, as the United States are an important market for the Japanese brand.
Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen's CEO who left the company following Dieselgate, is the main reason Volkswagen has now retaken the lead, because about a decade ago, he decided to bank a lot on Chinese sales and the expansion of its Audi and Porsche brands, a strategy that is clearly paying off.