Toyota retakes global sales lead from VW

Toyota retakes global sales lead from VW

Toyota has inched ahead of Volkswagen to reoccupy its position as the world’s largest automaker.

The Japanese company sold 7.49 million units from January through September, down 1.5 percent compared to last year but good enough to beat VW’s 7.43 million deliveries by a margin of approximately 60,000 vehicles.

The German automaker earlier this year briefly took the lead with first-half sales of 5.04 million units, slightly ahead of Toyota’s 5.02 million. The latter company blamed its lackluster performance on slow sales in developing markets and negative effects of tax pressure on small vehicles sold in Japan.

The VW emissions scandal first appeared in the news on September 18, leaving only 12 days to negatively impact sales. The company’s return to number-two behind Toyota was unlikely to have been solely driven by the revelations, however the fiasco could give Toyota a slight edge in the fourth quarter and into 2016 as VW’s screwup continues to receive negative attention.

VW has already launched a discount program to help mitigate losses, which will likely reflect the ongoing sales halt of certain diesel models in the US market. The company’s October sales disclosures will likely shine more light on the impact to sales.

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