Volkswagen sales rev up
The German carmaker is speeding up the ranks, writes Paul Gover
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.