VOLKSWAGEN Group’s hopes of putting the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal behind it have received a boost with confirmation it led global sales table for the first half of 2016.
VW has nudged ahead of Toyota over the first six months of 2016 after delivering 5.021 million cars until the end of June, a 5.1 percent increase over the same period last year.
While it’s good news for the group a week after settling the $US10 billion Dieselgate compensation package in the US, it’s worth noting that Volkswagen passenger car sales, while still significant, fell 0.7 percent to 2,925,000 with Audi, Porsche and Skoda leading the group’s sales growth.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, however, experienced a significant seven percent increase.
“This shows that the Volkswagen Group has high earnings power,” VW chief financial officer Frank Witter said in a statement. “But it will require continued hard work to absorb the significant impact from the diesel issue,” he said.
Toyota’s global sales slid 0.6 percent in January-June to 4.992 million vehicles, down from 5.021 million for the first half of last year.
Toyota, which includes the Lexus and Daihatsu brands, said a series of unfortunate events had hurt it. This included an earthquake and unrelated explosion that temporarily halted the factories of key suppliers and resulted in a 1.1 percent decrease in sales of the Camry, Corolla and Prius.
A drop in Daihatsu exports to South America also led to the drop.
The news was better for Lexus, which posted a 10.2 per cent increase in global sales.
Both Toyota and VW are confident of a strong second half; Volkswagen expects full-year sales to come in slightly above last year’s 9.93 million deliveries as demand in China and Western Europe outweighs declines in the Americas and Russia.
General Motors is third in the global sales rankings, with six-month sales of 4.76 million vehicles, down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.
In Australia, Toyota maintained its top spot in Australia for the first half of 2016 on the back of strong Hilux sales, with 102,344 cars sold, an increase of 0.6 per cent.
Mazda ranked second, up 7.7 per cent with 60,973 sales, while Hyundai benefitted from a spike in i30 sales to rank third overall with 54,350 units (up 8.5 per cent).
Holden was down 7.2 percent but held fourth spot with 48,010 sales. Ford has recorded a 16 per cent increase (40,383) -- led by the Ranger ute – to secure fifth spot.