Volkswagen Takes Lead from Toyota as World’s Largest Automaker

Despite the massive dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen has managed to pass Toyota as the world’s largest automaker in the first half of 2016.

Volkswagen sales have actually increased 1.5 percent through the first half of this year, despite the fact that it announced late last year that it cheated on diesel emissions tests. The German automaker has sold 5.12-million vehicles through June, compared to Toyota’s 4.99 million. However, it was the same case last year with Volkswagen, who held a lead over Toyota after the first six months of 2015 but couldn’t hold on once the emissions scandal broke.

But now, the scandal’s effect on sales has mostly been contained within the U.S., which is one of Volkswagen’s smallest markets anyways. Vehicles sales in the U.S. dropped 7.2 percent for the first half of 2016, but Volkswagen saw a 3.8 percent increase in Europe and a 6.8 percent increase in China.

Toyota however could close the gap since production was slowed down as a result of an earthquake in April in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture. Following Toyota in the rankings is General Motors.

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