Toyota barely edges out Volkswagen in the global sales race image

The world’s largest automaker has managed to keep a slight advantage over its primary contender after the year’s first nine months, with the Japanese carmaker’s deliveries rising 2.8% to 7.6 million vehicles.

After for decades General Motors was the No.1 world automaker, Toyota has emerged as the top dog in recent years (except for a slight hiatus following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami). But half way through the decade another contender is vying for the first place: Volkswagen AG.

The German automaker, already Europe’s largest, has managed to best the US rival in 2013 to secure the second position and has openly said it wants to become the first before the decade’s end.

Now, after the worldwide deliveries at both groups have been tallied – the situation is as follows. For the January-September period, global sales at Toyota, including its Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. subsidiaries stand at 7.6 million vehicles, and Volkswagen has managed to reach 7.4 million units (without counting its two heavy-truck units).

According to James Chao, a Shanghai-based director at IHS Automotive, the companies play their strategy differently: “you see the U.S. coming back quite strongly for Toyota, and then you see the great engine of growth for Volkswagen being China.”

Via Bloomberg