The German car automaker Volkswagen recently confirmed that it had sold over 10.3 million vehicles last year, surpassing its Japanese rival Toyota with a 3.8 percent rise from a year earlier. The company moved back into the top spot despite being hit by a large emission cheating scandal that destroyed its reputation.
The automaker was plunged into its worst crisis after the issue emerged in September 2015 saying that it installed emissions-cheating software in 11 million of its diesel engines worldwide. But the issue seemed to have a very little effect on the company's standings with customers as it revealed this month that its annual sales increased up to 3.8 percent this year.
Senior Auto Analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, Seiji Sugiura, said the great results highlights the importance of the Chinese market and the popularity of the automaker widespread brand portfolio. He added, "Volkswagen could stay at the top for the next few years," he told the news agency Reuters. Hans Greimel, Asia editor for Automotive News also said that China made "the difference that matters."
According to the news agency AFP, Toyota encountered a lot of problems in China, whereas VW is very strong in China and using it as an engine of success. Sugiura said, "They might be neck-and-neck right now but maybe long term you have to be a big player in China, and Toyota is still playing some catch-up there."
Meanwhile, US auto giant General Motors has yet to declare its tally by next week but appears unlikely to surpass its two rivals. The automaker was known to be the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades until Toyota took over the title in 2008. In 2015, it reported sales of 9.8 million vehicles, coming in third place behind Toyota and VW.
Furthermore, Toyota executives said that they are not concerned with being the world's best-selling carmaker and just want to make good cars. Volkswagen was desperate to surpass Toyota but discontinued that goal after its CEO Martin Winterkorn lost his job over the emission cheating scandal.