Volkswagen is counting on growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China to help surpass Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest automaker no later than 2018. VW has forecast its global sales will increase 5 percent this year after posting a record 7.2 million deliveries in 2010.
Moving up the ranking
With a volume of 8.42 million vehicles, Toyota finished 2010 ahead of General Motors (7.56 million) and VW Group (7.14 million), according to the Automotive News Data Center. That order of finish is likely to change dramatically.
"We're looking at a threehorse race with Toyota, because of the earthquake, likely to fall to No. 3 from No. 1," Jeff Schuster, J.D. Power & Associates executive director of automotive forecasting told Automotive News Europe. "In the wake of what has happened, it will be extremely difficult for Toyota to retain the global sales title."
Schuster sees GM finishing 2011 as No. 1 in global sales and VW at No. 2, which would be a first for the German company.
Consultancy IHS Automotive forecasts GM at No. 1 with a 2011 global volume of 8.65 million units, VW at No. 2 with a volume of 7.69 million and Toyota in third place with 7.33 million sales.
VW Group's sales in June increased 12 percent, the carmaker said.
Year-to-date sales were powered by a 29 percent gain in central and eastern Europe to 253,700 vehicles, a 20 percent increase in the United States to 211,100 units and a 16 percent rise in China, VW's biggest market, to 1.1 million autos. Deliveries in VW's German home-market rose 9.3 percent to 580,600 units, according to the statement.
The manufacturer said last month that it will expand third-quarter production of the Golf hatchback and Tiguan compact SUV at its main factory in Wolfsburg.
Source: Bloomberg with contributions from Douglas A. Bolduc