Volkswagen overtook Toyota as the best-selling car manufacturer of 2016. It's as if dieselgate never happened.
Well, this is a surprise. In news no one expected, Toyota wasn’t the best-selling automaker last year for the first time since 2012. What’s most surprising, however, is the manufacturer that overtook them – Volkswagen. Yes, the same manufacturer responsible for the notorious dieselgate scandal. The same manufacturer which has employees facing prosecution. We know, we’re just as stumped as you are. Toyota’s reported sales came to 10.175 million vehicles sold worldwide, falling short of the 10.31 sales reported by VW.
It’s a blow to the Japanese manufacturer, considering its sales were up last year by 0.2% across the Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino Motors brands. You would expect customer confidence to cause a dip in VW’s sales. This seems to be the case in the US where VW is facing legal disputes from angry consumers, as sales declined by 2.8%. It’s a different story in China, however, which saw huge growth - deliveries are up by a whopping 12%. Europe also saw a growth of 4%. "2016 was a very challenging year for us," a VW spokesperson said. That’s an understatement if there ever was one.
“We managed to stabilize operating business in difficult conditions: the fact that we handed over more than 10 million vehicles to customers last year bolsters the group and its brands as we head for the future." That future involves VW’s upcoming influx of electric vehicles as part of its new I.D. range in an effort to reidentify itself, including the I.D. Concept hatchback, the rebirth of the iconic Microbus and, potentially, an electric hot hatch.