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Volkswagen overtakes Toyota as world’s largest carmaker

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Volkswagen overtook Toyota Motor Corp. in worldwide sales in 2016, sales figures reported last week and Monday indicated. Volkswagen, which also makes Porsche, Skoda and Audi brands, reported Monday it sold 10.31 million vehicles last year.Toyota reported last week that it sold 10.18 million. Toyota was the world’s leading producer of vehicles for the four years prior to 2016. Volkswagen’s strength came largely from China; its sales increased overall by 3.8 percent. It also made inroads in Europe; the Volkswagen Golf was Sweden’s biggest seller in 2016, the first time in more than 50 years a Swedish-made Volvo has not led the list.

Toyota, which relies on markets in the United States in Japan, saw its international sales grow by 2.8 percent. Its core strength is in sedans, a class losing ground in the United States to trucks and sport-utility vehicles. General Motors will report its sales figured next week, but the numbers are not expected to challenge those of Volkswagen or Toyota. Volkswagen’s claim to the world’s largest carmaker comes as the company is entangled in an emissions scandal. It has admitted it built diesel-powered cars with software designed to inaccurately report emissions figures when the vehicles are tested by regulators.

– UPI

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