Auto focus

VW closing in on Toyota for top slot

Our Mumbai Bureau | Updated on January 24, 2018

Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen

The carmaker is confident of a turnaround in India

Volkswagen is on track to overtaking Toyota as the world’s largest carmaker by the end of this calendar.

The two were neck and neck in 2014 with the Japanese automaker reporting sales of 10.23 million units while VW was just a step behind at 10.14 million units. Toyota has, however, forecast a one per cent drop in 2015 which translates into 10.15 million units, a number which should be easy to attain for VW.

Perhaps, the biggest difference lies in China, the world’s largest car market, where VW’s annual sales average over 3.5 million units. Toyota has not made too much headway here though it is in a stronger position in the North American market where VW is yet to catch up.

Long-term strategy

From the German carmaker’s point of view, emerging tops in 2015 will be special considering that it had set 2018 as its deadline to reach this goal. "In 2014, our Group delivered over 10 million vehicles to customers. That is impressive confirmation we are vigorously implementing our Strategy 2018 despite challenging market conditions,” Martin Winterkorn, CEO, said in a release.

Board member for Sales Christian Klingler added, "Our Group has doubled vehicle deliveries in the last ten years. That is an outstanding performance and an impressive result, and all brands have played their part in achieving this despite very difficult market conditions." VW’s sales in the Asia-Pacific region crossed the four-million mark for the first time with China heading the fray. Of the 10.14 million units sold, the VW brand accounted for 6.12 million with Audi at 1.74 million and Porsche at 1.9 lakh units. Skoda crossed the one million mark for the first time while the three commercial vehicle brands, MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles accounted for nearly 6.5 lakh units.

India focus

In the Indian context, Toyota has perhaps done better though it has not made much headway in the small car space. The Etios Liva hatchback promised plenty but customers did not think too much of it with the result that the Innova MPV continues to be the company’s most successful brand. Reports have been doing the rounds that Daihatsu could be the face for the small car in India but no official confirmation has come in yet. India has not been particularly memorable for VW either though the company is confident that it can turn things around.

Published on January 30, 2015

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