Toyota No Longer the World's Biggest Auto Seller

Volkswagen takes the crown in the year post-cheating scandal
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2017 5:33 AM CST
Toyota No Longer the World's Biggest Auto Seller
A visitor walks past the log of Toyota Motor Corp. at its showroom in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Toyota has relinquished the title of the world's biggest automaker, reporting Monday that it sold 10.175 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, fewer than Volkswagen's 10.31 million.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Toyota has lost its crown as the world's best-selling automaker, and the company to wear it now does so for the first time: Volkswagen. Yes, though revelations about the latter's diesel-engine manipulations emerged in 2015, 2016 turned out to be a winning year for Volkswagen, which recorded a record 10.31 million vehicles sold, up about 135,000 over Toyota, which had been atop the heap since 2012, report the BBC and Wall Street Journal.

Bloomberg reports the credit goes largely to China, which was untainted by the emissions-related scandal as the affected diesel vehicles aren't really sold there; as such, VW deliveries to the country surged 12.2% last year. Another feather in VW's cap: inroads in Sweden, where a Volvo wasn't No. 1 for the first time in half a century. The Journal's take on what went wrong: market and models. While VW's biggest markets are Europe and China, Japan and the US drive a chunk of Toyota's sales, and US growth was just 2.8%. Further, Toyota's bread and butter is sedans (think Camry), which isn't a segment that's growing and its two North American truck factories are operating at capacity. (More Toyota stories.)

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