Volk­swa­gen sales rev up

The Ger­man car­maker is speed­ing up the ranks, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Training Wheels -

AYEAR of qual­ity and safety dis­as­ters al­most cost Toy­ota its spot as the world’s lead­ing car-maker in 2010.

Toy­ota jumped to the top of the global sales charts in 2008 as Gen­eral Mo­tors slid to­wards bank­ruptcy but it lost the ma­jor­ity of its ad­van­tage last year as ‘‘ new GM’’ surged back within 29,000 sales of the Ja­panese com­pany.

China pro­vided much of the fuel for the GM re­sult as, for the first time in the com­pany’s his­tory, home sales in the US did not top its re­sults.

In­stead, GM sold 2.35 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in China — 136,000 more than it de­liv­ered in the US — as it took its over­all to­tal to 8.39 per cent for a 12 per cent in­crease over 2009.

Toy­ota’s fi­nal fig­ure for last year was 8.42 mil­lion, a 7.7 per cent im­prove­ment over 2009, and it man­aged only 846,000 sales in China.

Volk­swa­gen was the biggest im- prover through 2010 with a 13.5 per cent in­crease over 2009 and ranks third glob­ally with 7.14 mil­lion sales, ahead of fourth-placed Ford. The re­sult is an im­prove­ment of 850,000 in just one year.

But the Ger­man brand is aim­ing for num­ber one be­fore 2018 and hopes to hit 10 mil­lion sales in that time, as global de­mand grows over the next five years.

China is also a key coun­try for VW, as it lifted its sales by 37.1 per cent last year to 1.92 mil­lion ve­hi­cles— a re­sult that means Chi­nese buy­ers are tak­ing 28 per cent of the com­pany’s to­tal vol­ume.

The lat­est sales re­sults show the im­prove­ment around the world since the end of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

GM lost more than two mil­lion sales and Toy­ota fell by more than 1.5 mil­lion in the same pe­riod from 2007 to the end of 2009.

TOY­OTA has paid nearly $50 mil­lion in fines as a re­sult of its re­call fi­asco in the US. The loss in con­fi­dence in Amer­ica also cost it a 2 per cent fall in sales in 2010 — it was the only ma­jor brand to go back­wards.

It agreed to pay $32.79 mil­lion in fines to the US Govern­ment in De­cem­ber to set­tle the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into its han­dling of two re­calls.

The lat­est pay­ment was on top of an ear­lier fine of $16.5 mil­lion.

Suc­cess­ful year: The Polo is a big seller, help­ingVWto rank third glob­ally.

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