The world probably has a new number one carmaker.
Sales figures for the first three months of the year show Volkswagen is likely to have overtaken Toyota, which has not yet given a forecast for its sales. Although overall VW’s deliveries to customers fell by 11 percent for its nine brands including Audi, Skoda, Seat and lorry maker Scania. But it dramatically increased its share of the global passenger car market to 11 percent. VW benefited from government incentives – paying bonuses to drivers to scrap their old cars – which fuelled demand in its major markets. By contrast, Toyota was more exposed to collapsing markets; its latest estimate for shipments for the first quarter is down 47 percent from a year earlier.