Toyota loses global-sales title to Volkswagen

Toyota Motor Corp. lost its title as the world's best-selling automaker to Volkswagen Group, ending the Japanese company's four-year reign, as demand for its flagship Camry sedan waned in the USA and sales in China expanded at a slower pace than the overall market.

The Japanese automaker, which had topped sales for the past four years, sold around 10.2 million automobiles worldwide in 2016. However, due to a slower-than-expected sales rate in China and waning Corolla sales in the United States, Toyota fell behind Volkswagen's record 10.38-million-vehicle sales for 2016.

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Volkswagen Group soared past Toyota Motor as the world's largest automaker in 2016, capturing the crown for the first time in a bittersweet accomplishment attributable nearly entirely to sales in China.

The increase in Volkswagen sales came on the back of surging demand in China, its second-largest market after Europe.

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Toyota also suffered in the key US market past year, with a 2% decline in sales, according to Autodata. Although Trump also threatened German carmakers with a 35% tariff on vehicles imported into the usa, it isn't a big market for Volkswagen, even before its brand was tarnished by scandal.

U.S. vehicle giant General Motors posts its annual sales figures next week, but is set to take the bronze position behind both Toyota and VW. The Japanese automaker had held the crown for seven of the last eight years, having passed General Motors in 2008 for the top spot. GM makes the Cadillac and Opel cars.

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Although it has taken a decade, Volkswagen has clearly dethroned Toyota as the world's largest carmaker.

Volkswagen's claim to the world's largest carmaker comes as the company is entangled in an emissions scandal.

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It posted strong increases in China and Europe previous year, although deliveries plunged 34% in Brazil and slipped almost 3% in the U.S. "Toyota has made investment to build a new plant in Mexico and will have limited options to appeal to Trump".


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