Toyota, Japan’s largest company and the world’s biggest automaker, managed to maintain its lead over the Volkswagen Group after first half-sales were accounted.
Toyota, which counted the Hino and Daihatsu units in the results, had 5.1 million units delivered in the first six months of the year, over VW AG’s 4.97 million vehicles – but the German automaker didn’t count in its heavy-truck divisions.
Still, Volkswagen is now within reach of its goal – a few good years ahead of the designated internal date – as the April-to-June quarter saw the German carmaker deliver around 2.57 million cars (without Man and Scania numbers), exceeding Toyota’s 2.51 million units.
“The result was surprising,” said about the six-months result Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based analyst for IHS automotive. “The negative effect from the rising tax rate wasn’t as big as we assumed. Their sales should be aided by the US, where the economy is good and consumer’s tastes are shifting from traditional sedans to pickup trucks and SUVs.”
Meanwhile, relegated to the third position after many decades as the global No.1, General Motors – still the top automaker in the US – had worldwide sales of 4.92 million cars and trucks, buoyed by increased demand in China and its home market, which overcame slumps in the European and South American regions.