By on July 28, 2015


Despite slowdowns in China, Russia and Asia, Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in global auto sales by delivery in the first half of 2015, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Volkswagen sold 5.04 million cars in the first six months of 2015, compared to 5.02 million for Toyota, according to the report. Sales were down 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent for Toyota and VW respectively.

GM was the third-largest automaker with 4.86 million vehicles.

Volkswagen capitalized on a growing European market to help offset softening Chinese sales. Passenger-vehicle sales fell for the first time in two years in China as that country’s economy responds to market volatility.

Sales slumped in South America, some Southeast Asia markets and sales in Russia have dramatically declined, the story points out.

Deliveries in North America increased by only 4.4 percent, the smallest margin since the economic recovery began in 2009.

The report is the latest in the saga of “Who Wants To Be The World’s Largest Automaker?” with VW on pace to take the crown three years before their executives forecasted. In May, it looked as if VW would take silver thanks to its ongoing leadership shuffle, but a resurgent European market may help. Meanwhile, Toyota may make up ground after a 10-percent gain in China in the first half, according to the report.

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21 Comments on “Volkswagen Surpasses Toyota in Global Auto Sales...”

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Good news for VW techs, business will be booming in the next couple of years, lots of overtime pay!

  • avatar

    How can companies that build bland cars with ugly interiors or companies that build cars that are consistently at the bottom of any reliability list be the number 1 and 2 automakers on the planet?

    I own a 2014 Camry SE V6 and wanted a Jetta GLI or Golf GTI.

    Why can’t I have a VW with Toyota reliability or a Toyota as solid feeling and appealing as a VW/Audi.

    It pisses me off!

    • 0 avatar

      This isn’t 2003 anymore, yet the same tired “all VWs are reliability nightmares” meme won’t die. Check out Consumer Reports or True Delta’s long-term reliability statistics. VW as a brand is firmly in the middle of the pack, a tremendous improvement in quality over the past ten years.

      Queue up the inevitable horror story responses in five, four, three…

      • 0 avatar

        Seriously. “Consistently at the bottom of any reliability list”? Have you actually *looked at* a reliability list in the past 3-5 years? No one is claiming that VW has achieved Toyota/Honda levels of reliability but they’re pretty much industry average in an industry that has massively improved overall in reliability.

    • 0 avatar

      “Why can’t I have a VW with Toyota reliability or a Toyota as solid feeling and appealing as a VW/Audi.”

      You can. At Lexus prices.

      Bland is short for choosing common and well proven over new and exciting. And common and well proven is what makes for reliable.

  • avatar

    Now imagine if VW had a decent market share in the US, they would have a volume many 100K’s of vehicles above Toyota and GM worldwide.

  • avatar

    I kind of see the “largest car maker in the world” title as a bit pointless, and generally not a good thing.

    Everyone wants to knock the king off the mountain.

    GM became number one by not giving a f*** and it caught up with them.

    Toyota became number one than had a global recall scandal followed by an almost year long production disruption. Part two not their fault, but adds to the weight of being on top.

    Now VW has the top spot – but they sure don’t represent quality.

    This is where the avid VW army replies that replacing ignition coils every 30K miles and consuming a quart of oil every 1K miles is “normal.”

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      No they’ll simply say you are living in the past and that VW has resolved all those issues for this current generation. Just like they said about the previous generation. And the generation before that.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not “normal” and it effing sucks.

        It’s also not (entirely) in the past (though to suggest that VW quality has not changed at all would be a tad disingenuous).

        It’s just the price some of us suffer in order to not drive a Toyota. You know… driving enthusiasts.

        • 0 avatar

          “It’s just the price some of us suffer in order to not drive a Toyota. You know… driving enthusiasts.”

          That’s funny. The bulk of the driving enthusiasts I know here in Japan drive Toyotas. Primarily the whole JZX family of RWD inline-6 drift sedans (most of which the US didn’t get), but also Supras, Celica-GT4s, and the occasional MR2, MR-S or AE86.

          In terms of current production, enthusiasts buy Toyota GT86s (a car obviously not designed for US driving conditions, really should have a forced induction version) or Mark X 350S Gs sedans (again not available in the US, slots in too close to the Lexus IS350 and probably too expensive to brand as a Scion).

          Too bad the options in the US market suck. JDM Toyotas rock.

          • 0 avatar

            Those are very nice cars, noble 713. We do indeed not get them over here.

            This brings up the question, what is an enthusiast? There are people here that are great drivers and / or industry insiders. Most of us are here to hear what their take is on things.

            Then there are people like me. I relate to cars in ways that non-enthusiasts don’t. I like cars and care about them. I like some of them better. I may be unable to afford them, or pay more to put up with them, but it does not change the enthusiast equation by much.

            Reliability? I just don’t know what to do with that. This isn’t supposed to be a consumer protection blog. Please stop writing so much about how your worries made you a Toyota fan. That’s a very sad thing to hear!

  • avatar

    And to think that VW was offered to Ford free of charge after WWII…

    • 0 avatar

      Really? Have a link or any more information on this?

      • 0 avatar

        From Wikipedia (see the page for the reference):

        “Ford representatives were equally critical. In March 1948, the British offered the Volkswagen company to Ford, free of charge. Henry Ford II, the son of Edsel Ford, traveled to West Germany for discussions. Heinz Nordhoff was also present, and Ernest Breech, chairman of the board for Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford II looked to Ernest Breech for his opinion, and Breech said “Mr. Ford, I don’t think what we’re being offered here is worth a dime!,”[4] Ford passed on the offer, leaving Volkswagen to rebuild itself under Nordhoff’s leadership.”

      • 0 avatar

        James May reported on this subject extensively in his Cars Of The People series.

  • avatar

    I predicted this close race, but honestly circumstances are way different than i thought.

    I predicted year ago or so, close 2015 race with growing China, rebounding Europe and recovering South America or at least stagnating, but China is actually declining market for foreign automakers this year – overall market is growing but thanks to domestic chinese brands.

    South America is still mess and Brazil and Argentina are not even stagnating but still falling down.

    VW somehow fixed NA results- but still there is so much room for improovement. Europe is rebounding nicely so that helped VW group a lot with their 27% or so market share in EU+EFTA.

    Russia is still in trouble.

    Toyota somehow survived Japan´s anticipated market numbers – still better than i thought it would be and Indonesia is surprise after years of amazing results Toyota-Daihatsu with their huge market share there loosing a lot of volume there + Thailand still in crisis.

    Basically story this year for major automakers has been who can reduce their losses in declining markets…. markets which were engines for automakers growths so far in last few 4-5 years – Brazil, China, Indonesia and some others.

  • avatar

    Auto News EUROPE? Biased. GM is Number One in the World, baby, the WORLD!!!

  • avatar

    Here’s what Daily Kanban says;

    Fake VW sales in China.

    In Europe, all manufacturers inflate sales numbers by registering cars at month end at dealer level, then flogging them as lightly used the first of the new month. Toyota sales in Europe amount to the square root of not many, so VW has a leg up in the Big Sales Balls department. Europe leads the world in corporate and organizational corruption – “let’s bankrupt Greece and privatize it” by the ESM, and then there’s FIFA and the IOC. At least in the US, the DOJ seems to try to tame corruption to a simmering level. In Europe, the legal system is part of the establishment, thus no rocking the boat from them.

    So all this sales talk by VW is just the sound of big brass balls clanging under striped business pants. GM adds in Wuling van sales for an extra million each year, the full production even though it’s a 50:50 JV. Exaggeration or what …

    Now what schemes do Toyota pull off? I’d love to know.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    And to think it only took the “resignation” of the guy pushing for VW to be worlds largest, Ferdinand Piech.

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