Volkswagen takes the reins from Toyota as world’s largest automaker
After three quarters of 2009 have come and gone, it looks like Volkswagen’s mission to become the world’s largest automaker is coming along sooner than anyone thought.
Thanks to a number of benefits from state-backed stimulus packages around the globe, Volkswagen has overtaken Toyota for the title of largest automaker after producing over 4.4 million cars for the first nine months of 2009 as opposed to the Japanese giant’s 4 million cars produced in the same span.
A big part in Volkswagen’s rise to the top involves the company’s infiltration of the Chinese market, which is also now the world’s largest car market. After launching a fleet of tailor-made VWs for the Chinese market, the company sold over 128,000 cars in the month of July alone – a sign that the Chinese seem to be warming up to buying imported cars like Volkswagen. In addition to their strong showing in China, VW also benefited from a number of cash-for-clunkers schemes in countries like Germany and in the UK.
As far as Toyota is concerned, the Japanese brand’s reign at the top didn’t last as long as it hoped after upstaging General Motors for the top spot just last year. It didn’t help matters when Toyota decided to ease up on the production of their cars as it continues to struggle in regaining its form after the global financial crisis.
Toyota’s decision to ‘decelerate’ production was the opening Volkswagen needed to seize the title of ‘world’s largest automaker’. Whether it retains that title longer than Toyota did is still up in the air, but if there’s one thing Volkswagen is confident of, it’s the fact that it has a lot of momentum on its side compared to its Japanese counterparts.