Forecasts suggest Volkswagen wil sell 7.8m vehicles this year and depose Toyota in the sales charts

Volkswagen is on course to overtake Toyota as the world’s biggest car maker this year. The German car group’s chiefs expected to become the world’s best-selling company in 2015, but a report in the Financial Times suggests it will achieve the feat four years early.

A forecast from business consultancy JD Power predicts that VW will have sold 7.8m vehicles worldwide by the end of this year, with General Motors second with sales of 7.2m.

Key to Volkswagen’s move from third to first in the worldwide rankings has been strong sales in China, where it is the best-selling car maker. The company has built two new factories in the country in a £5.3 billion plan to double production to three million cars by 2014.

VW has also enjoyed a better-than-expected performance in Europe, where it has increased sales by eight per cent, and is making good progress in the United States. Toyota, by contrast, has suffered supply issues caused by the earthquake in Japan.

Volkswagen initially planned to sell 10 million cars per year by 2018, but has since revealed that its goal could be achieved at least three years earlier.

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