VW is closing on Toyota in the global leadership fight image

The world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor, has some sleepless nights ahead of it – its follower, Volkswagen AG, has narrowed the gap after nine months into 2014.

The German carmaker, already Europe’s largest, has made a stellar performance – it only became second-biggest carmaker last year after it managed to beat Detroit’s General Motors, buoyed by the great performance in China – the world’s largest market.

Now, the Japanese company and the German contender have entered in a neck-and-neck race, relying on the fourth quarter results to find out who’s the industry’s global leader in 2014. According to Bloomberg compiled figures, Volkswagen AG’s nine-month deliveries, including its MAN and Scania heavy-truck divisions, are behind what Toyota made by just 72,000 vehicles. That compares to the wider gap accounted in 2013, of around 227,000 units.

Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen, has been buoyed by increased deliveries in China and Toyota has reaped the benefits of the surging demand in the United States. Both companies aim to sell more than 10 million vehicles this year, but the deliveries could be hit by the possible effects of recalls issued during the last two months – which certainly affected at least in part third-placed General Motors, which fell further behind the two rivals.

VW’s nine-month sales stand at around 7.54 million cars and trucks, with a growth of 5% from the year ago period. Toyota, including its Daihatsu minicar and Hino truck brands, has seen sales rising slower – 2.8% – to 7.62 million units. General Motors modestly lifted sales by 2% to 7.37 million autos.

Via Bloomberg