Toyota has held on to the number one slot in the global car sales league, despite its first-quarter sales plummeting by more than a quarter.
The VW group had been expected to overtake Toyota, but the Japanese giant today announced global vehicle sales for the first three months of 2009 of 1.77 million units. That’s a drop of 27 per cent year on year, but well ahead of the 47 per cent drop Toyota previously predicted.
The VW group’s sales were down 11 per cent, in line with the company’s projections, but that brings the gap in sales between the two automotive giants to just 363,00 – down from 840,000 for the same period a year ago.
Government-backed buying incentives have helped VW in its key markets of Germany, Brazil and China, while Toyota has suffered a big squeeze on its crucial US and domestic market sales.
The Japanese government is expected to announce its own scrappage scheme, however, which should help shore-up Toyota’s sales.