Volkswagen Group's Sales on the Rise, Should Overtake Toyota as World No. 1

VW I.D. BUZZ concept car 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Not many analysts were brave enough to predict that Volkswagen would bounce back from the Dieselgate scandal that broke out over a year ago (September 2015) so quickly, but the sales figures show that's exactly what happened.
It looks like the German-led conglomerate wasn't really affected by the discovery of its defeat device in diesel engines outside North America as the group's brands managed to amass sales of 10.3 million vehicles over the course of last year.

That's a 3.8 rise compared to 2015 when Volkswagen only had to deal with the market's negativity for the last three months. It looks like its strategy to announce a new focus on electric propulsion worked, or maybe people simply don't care if they are lied to as long as they can buy the famed German quality for a decent price.

Of course, registering such numbers under difficult circumstances bolsters VW's confidence. "2016 was a very challenging year for us," says Matthias Müller, CEO of the Volkswagen Group. "We made strides in resolving and overcoming the diesel crisis and at the same time initiated a fundamental change process with ‘Together – Strategy 2025' to get Volkswagen ready for the future of mobility. Nonetheless, we managed to stabilize operating business in difficult conditions: the fact that we handed over more than 10 million vehicles to customers last year bolsters the Group and its brands as we head for the future."

Surprisingly enough, Volkswagen's sales grew even in the troubled North American market, albeit only by 0.8 percent. Europe, on the other hand, had a 4.0 percent rise compared to 2015 while the Asia-Pacific region saw the biggest growth with 9.7 percent. China was the market leading the charge with its 12.2 percent increase in sales during 2016.

The biggest news, however, is that Volkswagen Group looks set to overtake Toyota as the world's largest carmaker. The Japanese manufacturer hasn't made its numbers public yet, but it has announced it doesn't expect to meet the initial forecast. And even if it were to do it, that would still be below Volkswagen's 10.3 million, as it only stands at 10.11 million.

However, not all is peachy for the Germans. NordLB analyst Frank Schwope quoted by Auto News says that VW's rise might stall this year due to a stagnation of its main driving market, China. The Asian country plans to reduce or eliminate tax breaks for cars with small engines, meaning Volkswagen products will lose some of their competitiveness. For now, though, they can open a bottle of champagne.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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