Volkswagen Group leads global car sales in the first six months of this year, overtaking Toyota as the world's largest car maker

Volkswagen has surpassed Toyota as the world’s largest car manufacturer by sales in the first half of 2015.

Toyota today announced that it sold a total of 5.02 million cars worldwide in the first six months of this year - some way behind the 5.04 million units announced by the Volkswagen Group earlier this month. That figure includes cars from Volkswagen’s key brands, including Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche.

Those figures represent decreases for both manufacturers compared with the same period last year - with Toyota and Volkswagen reporting declines of 1.5% and 0.5% respectively.

Analysis by Bloomberg suggests Volkswagen’s sales have held relatively firm thanks to accelerated demand in Europe, where the market is growing at its fastest rate for more than five years. In particular, sales of the Volkswagen Passat and Porsche Macan have helped to give VW a firmer footing in Europe, where its sales have risen by 6%.

Conversely, Toyota is understood to have suffered from reduced demand in China, while failing to experience the same gains in Europe.

Speaking to Bloomberg Business, Advanced Research Japan analyst Koji Endo said: “Toyota versus Volkswagen is going to be a very close race. These companies want to make the profitability side much more important than volume.”

This isn’t the first time the VW Group has achieved the title of world’s largest manufacturer. In 2009 it took the title from Toyota by delivering 4.4 million vehicles in the first nine months of that year, compared with Toyota’s 4.0 million.

In 2010 Volkswagen set itself the target of becoming the world’s largest car maker by 2018.

These latest results mean that General Motors is now the third largest car maker, selling 4.86 million vehicles in the first six months of this year.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 190 GT DSG
The new Volkswagen Passat is now in its eighth generation

The Passat wants to head upmarket. Does it have the substance?

Join the debate

Comments
6

28 July 2015
So Toyota's figures presumably include Lexus and Scion, while Volkswagen's include Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley and Lamborgini? But who cares, surely it's profitability that counts. Far better to make a big money on a small number of cars, rather than the opposite - or worse where many of today's manufacturers actually loose money by making rather more cars than they can actually sell...

28 July 2015
Now that the Volkswagen has overtaken Toyota in global sales charts, can it up its reliability and also do some work on alternative technologies. Smaller car makers like Hyundai and Honda are zooming past Volkswagen not to mention industry leaders like Toyota, Tesla or BMW.

29 July 2015
fadyady wrote:

Now that the Volkswagen has overtaken Toyota in global sales charts, can it up its reliability and also do some work on alternative technologies. Smaller car makers like Hyundai and Honda are zooming past Volkswagen not to mention industry leaders like Toyota, Tesla or BMW.

VW Group already have e-Up, e-Golf, Golf GTE, Passat GTE, A3 e-Tron, Panamera E-Hybrid - which customers can go out and buy now - presumably you had other kinds of alternative tech in mind?

30 July 2015
Adrian987 wrote:

VW Group already have e-Up, e-Golf, Golf GTE, Passat GTE, A3 e-Tron, Panamera E-Hybrid - which customers can go out and buy now - presumably you had other kinds of alternative tech in mind?

Wouldn't you agree that none of this stuff is original or industry leading?

1 August 2015
fadyady wrote:
Adrian987 wrote:

VW Group already have e-Up, e-Golf, Golf GTE, Passat GTE, A3 e-Tron, Panamera E-Hybrid - which customers can go out and buy now - presumably you had other kinds of alternative tech in mind?

Wouldn't you agree that none of this stuff is original or industry leading?

Yes, I would agree. Electric has been around for some while too, since the dawn of motoring. Probably find that their engineers/developers would love to get into industry leading alternatives, but the accountants are not seeing a business case yet so will not let them. Instead, VW are concentrating on what they think they can sell to customers. Honda have been developing fuel cell tech for some years, and there's the £60k Toyota due in UK in limited numbers. PSA have developed some air storage tech, and looking for partners to take things forward. I've not seen what Hyundai have to offer yet, but judging by their progress and popularity (and Kia) in recent years, it would never surprise me for them to steal a march on the established big players, then everyone will sit up and take notice, possibly too late.

29 July 2015
Straight out of the Daily Mail school of journalism, Autocar seeks to hype and dramatise this with dodgy claims like Toyota 'some way behind' VW.

Let's look at the maths; the difference between 5.04 and 5.02 is 0.02 - which is 0.4% difference.

For me, that's 'a wafer thin gap' between Toyota and VW, or 'virtually no difference', but its certainly not 'some way behind'.

But then that wouldn't suit the sensationalist nature of Autocar today would it? Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK