By on October 14, 2011

The Volkswagen Group ended the first nine months of the year with worldwide deliveries up by 13.9 percent. Last year, Volkswagen had delivered 5.36 million units by September, this year, it is 6.11 million. If VW maintains the pace – and it has done so the whole year – then it could end the year with 8.4 million units. This would be in the same league as Toyota and GM in 2010.

We will know more about GM when it publishes its quarterly results some time next month, but we can expect a growth rate of a little less than 10 percent. With that, GM should end the year solidly as number one, followed by Volkswagen, with tsunami-swamped Toyota far behind in #3.


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16 Comments on “Volkswagen Emerges Strong After 9 Months...”

  • avatar

    I don’t know what to make of VW, if I base my opinion on what many commenters say about their reliability – or lack of it, but that photo is priceless!

  • avatar
    Hildy Johnson

    I didn’t know beetles copulate in that position …

  • avatar

    Commenters will still be grousing about reliability when VW takes the sales lead. Haters hate.

    That photo is curiously vulgar. Almost NSFW.

  • avatar

    Considering how many Americans have driven a German car over the past fifty years, it isn’t surprising that there is a new generation of drivers interested in them once again.

    I mean, c’mon – how much longer are folks going to just buy Camcords and Corollas without wondering what it is like to drive something else? Japanese quality is status quo regardless of the brand. Even the worse built car is going to outlast it’s payments today.

    Remember before all those safety standards how Volvo had something everyone else lacked? Well, it is happening in regards to durability.

    Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda need to rediscover a reason beyond loyalty to keep folks returning to their cars.

    The Detroit 3 couldn’t figure it out, it is now time for the Japanese to give it a go.

    Every generation gets tired of the same thing. After generations of sitting in Japanese cars, it seems like there is a trend towards Korean and German cars.

    Can’t afford a typical German car like BMW, Audi or Mercedes? Then buy a VW so you can show your newfound taste in the latest auto fashion! You can’t really buy Swedish anymore and the Chinese aren’t ready yet, so go Deutschland!

    • 0 avatar

      Completely agree with you comments about Volvo and the “unique selling point” and how the same is happening with regards reliability. Toyota will continue to be the most reliable mainstream manufacturer but when the differences (going of TureDelta data) are between 0.1 visits per year and 0.3 visits a year then I think most people will call that evens.
      The data Ed showed from Edmunds regarding how relatively unimportant fuel economy was to a buyer ( applies here too with regards reliability.

    • 0 avatar

      Reliability as a selling point has become an old saw, like “bigger and better” back in the 1950s-1960s.

      The Japanese knew how to build a reliable car. That is what made it an auto powerhouse over the past fifty years.

      Now it needs to find a new selling point.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      It’s not just reliability. Toyota and to a lesser extent Honda make engineering decisions that tend to result in a decade of relatively low repair costs and very little time in the shop. The problem with the European car experience appears to be that customers need to go to the dealer more frequently than Japanese car customers and the replacement parts tend to be expensive. If Volkswagen continues to grow as a North American manufacturer of high-volume models, maybe a combination of different engineering compromises and aftermarket parts and service will drive down the cost of ownership.

      I want Volkswagen to succeed because they make affordable reasonably practical cars that are fun to drive. I hope that their success would force other manufacturers to devote more engineering budget to suspension tuning, steering feel, interior layout, etc.

      • 0 avatar

        “in a decade of relatively low repair costs and very little time in the shop…” Really. Then how is it possible that the newer Toyota shops are so huge and never, ever empty?
        I see service areas in the 40,000 sq ft range, just full of vehicles being, well, serviced.

  • avatar

    VW is positioned right to take over the top spot. GM is still undergoing massive restructuring, so the next few years may not mean much. Once GM is back out of the woods(around 2015), they will regain the top spot and never look back. Toyota on the other hand can’t seem to buy a break. The strong yen is killing them. They have barely recovered from the tsunami/quake and now all three assembly plants in thailand have shut down due to flooding and typhoons. Honda is worse off with their factory submerged under water along with hundreds of new cars.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree that Toyota et al haven`t caught a break recently. But they could have reduced their manufacturing presence in Japan sooner. They have plenty of factories in Europe (like Burnaston, UK) and in the US which have comparable (or higher) quality standards.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, let us not sweat over poor Toyota. I am sure they will just ‘off-shore’ the rest of their production to Vietnam to avoid that nasty yen.
      What is going to relegate Toyota to #3 is not a resurgent GM or a relentless VW, but the fact that Japanese consumers are broke, Japanese youth don’t want a car and Toyota depends on the 1.5-2MILLION in annual sales there to pad their coffers and sales figures.
      Oh, that and the fact that VW and GM are vying for #1 in China while Toyota barely exists there.

  • avatar

    Please forget about the VW horror stories you’ve read. Most of them are 10 years old, when petty electrical failures and dropping side windows complicated some owner’s lives. My Beetle TDI was from perhaps the worst year, 2002, and it’s a still a trustworthy car, and a keeper at 180K- but forget that, too. Just do what most buyers do- grab a copy of Consumer Reports at the grocery store. I never thought I’d see the day that CR would endorse a VW over a Toyota, but they rate the TDI well above the Prius in predicted reliability.

    The world moves on, and products and companies change. Let’s not be so brand-loyal — or brand-hostile — that we can’t take in new information.

    • 0 avatar

      “The world moves on, and products and companies change. Let’s not be so brand-loyal — or brand-hostile — that we can’t take in new information.”

      You just burst my bubble. I was all set to order a brand-new 1972 Chevelle “Heavy Chevy” 2 door hardtop! I guess I’ll just have to reconsider!

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