Volkswagen and Toyota are undeniably the auto industry's two giants of mass production, and to prove it, they are now in an extremely tight duel to earn the distinction of being the biggest carmaker of 2016. According to Forbes, the latest data shows that Toyota is trailing Volkswagen by a mere 9,000 units, which is well within the data's margin of error.
From January to October this year, both carmakers delivered almost 8.5 million units (Toyota at 8,470,699 and Volkswagen at 8,479,600). General Motors is a slightly distant third at 7,978,976 units. Both Toyota and Volkswagen are projected to surpass 10 million units produced by the time the year comes to a close.
Compared to their numbers from the January to October period last year, Volkswagen has a significant edge, making a 2.6% improvement in production. This is compared to the 0.5% increase Toyota saw this year in units delivered. General Motors' numbers also improved by a hair, at 0.4%.
Volkswagen's numbers are particularly impressive given that they were rocked this year by a diesel scandal, which saw a number of its vehicles using cheats that could lower the cars' emissions during test drives. But Volkswagen had a safety net in their China market, where VW sales increased by 11.3% in October, a month that gave the automaker a full 4.7% rise in overall deliveries across the globe. Over the whole year, China accounted for 35% of Volkswagen's total units produced, a market where Toyota has made significantly less inroads.
In fact, Volkswagen bests Toyota by 3 to 1 in China. However, Toyota still easily beats Volkswagen in the US market, according to Carscoops. The website added that a rise in the demand for SUVs, and the continued success of Audi, Porsche and Skoda, has also helped to offset the losses Volkswagen had to endure after the diesel scandal.