According to a report by Reuters, Volkswagen AG may overtake Toyota Motor Co as the world’s top-selling automaker in the first quarter of 2009. Even though Volkswagen sales fell 11 percent to 1.39 million vehicles, the German automaker significantly increased its market share globally.
Toyota, which has not provided any forecast for 2009 retails sales, estimates shipments for the first quarter at 1.23 million vehicles – down 47 percent from 2008.
Volkswagen is on its way to pass Toyota and General Motors as the world’s No.1 automaker by 2018. A huge drop in demand caused Toyota’s sales to fall 38 percent in the U.S. and 24 percent in Japan during the January-March period.
On the other hand, Volkswagen is benefiting from a government stimulus plan for the auto industry that has increased demand in Germany, China and Brazil – the automakers three largest markets that accounted for half of all group sales in the first quarter of 2009. Toyota has seen sales fall every month this year in China, its third-largest market.
– By: The Daily Auto Editor