Volkswagen is set to overtake Toyota Motor Corp as no. 1 in the vehicle sales industry by rapidly expanding to China, the world’s biggest auto market, while Toyota remains focused on delivering quality.
Toyota has been at the top spot for the past two years, announcing its sales for these first 6 months of this year, keeping its global sales crown with 5,097 cars sold, while Volkswagen managed to sell 4.97 million vehicles, making it a really close call.
Volkswagen sold 3.27 million vehicles in China last year and plans on investing $24.4 billion between 2014 and 2018 in new plants and products there together with its Chinese joint venture partners. Meanwhile, Toyota’s presence in China is much smaller, with a number of 1 million vehicles sold annually, and while it does plan to double it, the carmaker has not given any time frame.
Toyota has also pressed pause on the building of new factories until 2016 and President Akio Toyoda put emphasis on the fact that the company is now focused on building better cars than on an increase in the sales volume.
Despite VW’s expansion, the issue of making profit remains, as its brand profit margin in 2013 was at 2.9%, Toyota’s was at 8.8% and Hyundai Motor Co stayed at 9%.
By Gabriela Florea