Still the people’s car: VW Group remains world bestseller, despite Dieselgate

Published: 01 August 2016

► VW Group retains first-half sales lead 
► Audi, Porsche, Skoda counter Dieselgate drop
► Toyota’s supplier woes consign them to second 

The Volkswagen Group has reported increased sales in the first half of 2016, making it the world’s biggest car maker – despite the Dieselgate scandal of autumn 2015.

Fears that the 2015 emissions scandal would haemorrhage sales for the VW Group have seemingly been laid to rest, as the car giant reported a 1.5% increase in sales from January-June 2016. Bolstered by strong sales at Audi, Seat, Skoda and its commercial vehicles wing, Wolfsburg reported 5.12 million vehicles sold worldwide.

It was enough to take the crown from Toyota, which announced a 0.6% decline from 5.02m to 4.99m sales. The Japanese maker suffered weak sales at its Lexus and Daihatsu offshoots.

VW sales decline in UK 

However, the figures released by VW do not reflect the buying trend in the UK. From January-June 2016, VW’s sales dropped to 110,000, from last year’s 121,000. Most analysts blame the fall on uncertainty caused by the emissions crisis.

Steel shortage and April earthquake damage to one of its suppliers saw Toyota drop to second place globally, ending a four-year stint at the top of the class. General Motors retained third spot in the global sales chart, despite suffering a 1.2% decline in sales from 2015. 

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VW: #1 in the first half of 2016