Toyota Retakes No. 1 Spot in Auto Sales as VW Faces Emissions Crisis

By Jesse Sokolow on 27 October 2015
  • Share

DSC_0753Embattled automaker Volkswagen, which achieved its long-time goal of becoming the world’s biggest car manufacturer a mere three months ago, saw its brief reign come to an end Monday.

Toyota, which held the number one position for years before being overtaken by VW, published figures that showed it had sold more vehicles in the first nine months of 2015 than any other car company. The Tokyo-based automaker said it sold 7.52 million cars and trucks from January 2015 through September, while Volkswagen reported 7.43 million in the same period.

The change in the top spot comes even before the full force of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal begins to impact sales figures. Sales in key markets including Brazil and China were down and the damage to the automaker’s reputation is expected to continue to drive down sales worldwide.

Volkswagen admitted that 11 million of its diesel cars were equipped with a defeat device, software that allows the vehicle to pass emissions tests by lowering emissions when the car detects that a test is in progress.

As a result, Volkswagen cannot sell new 2015 or 2016 diesel-powered vehicles, including those made by its Audi and Skoda subsidiaries, in the United States and Europe until it has found a way to make the cars fully comply with current emissions standards.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)