Tags: volkswagen | largest | automaker | toyota

Volkswagen is World's Largest Automaker, Surpassing Toyota

Image: Volkswagen is World's Largest Automaker, Surpassing Toyota

Jochem Heizmann, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, attends a news conference in Guangzhou, China Nov. 17, 2016. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 07:25 AM

Volkswagen has become the world's largest automaker despite an emission tests cheating scandal that led to numerous lawsuits and a global backlash.

Volkswagen – which also makes the Audi, Porsche, and Skoda brands – sold 10.31 vehicles in 2016, beating out former No. 1 automaker Toyota, which sold 10.175 million vehicles worldwide, BBC News reported.

A Volkswagen spokesman said, according to the BBC News, that "2016 was a very challenging year for us. … Nonetheless, we managed to stabilize operating business in difficult conditions: the fact that we handed over more than 10 million vehicles to customers last year bolsters the group and its brands as we head for the future."

Volkswagen's honor comes with help from the Chinese market, where the company sold 3.98 million vehicles in 2016, up 12.2 percent from the previous year, USA Today reported. That more than made up for the 2.6 percent fall in sales in the United States, to 591,100 vehicles, due mostly to the emissions scandal.

USA Today reported that China's continued vehicle consumption could make the country Volkswagen's largest vehicle market, passing Europe, which purchased 4.21 million VWs in 2016.

In December, Volkswagen reached a $1 billion settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency that gave owners of 20,000 three-liter diesel cars the choice of a buyback or repairs bringing another 60,000 vehicles into emissions compliance, The Associated Press reported.

The automaker had earlier reached a settlement of almost $15 billion for 475,000 two-liter diesel cars that were programmed to cheat on emissions tests, stated the news agency.

"We are committed to earning back the trust of all our stakeholders and thank our customers and dealers in the United States for their patience as the process moves forward," Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America Inc., said after the December settlement, according to the AP.

General Motors had long held the title of the world's largest automaker before losing the title to Toyota in 2008 and briefly winning it back in 2011, USA Today noted.

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Volkswagen has become the world's largest automaker despite an emission tests cheating scandal that led to numerous lawsuits and a global backlash.
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2017-25-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 07:25 AM
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