So, its not been the best couple of months for Volkswagen. Let’s just leave it at that. After all, the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal is still ongoing and is likely to snowball even further in financial repercussions for the German automaker. And now, they've lost the title of the automotive industry's heavy hitter to Toyota.
But in case you need to get up to speed, here’s the 10 second version: Toward the latter days of September 2015, Volkswagen was caught rigging some of their cars with TDI diesel engines to output cleaner fumes to pass emissions testing, but would fall back on its default setting once the test was over, where it releases much more pollutants into the atmosphere.
Volkswagen held the top spot in total car sales around the world just three months ago, but now is bracing itself for the severe backlash from its emissions scandal. Yesterday, Toyota revealed that it had sold 7.49 million vehicles this year as of the end of September.
That figure trumps the 7.43 million vehicles that Volkswagen managed to move in that sale period. Interestingly, both Toyota and VW suffered a 1.5 percent decline in deliveries this time around.
Volkswagen did hold the lead over Toyota for the first six months of 2015, but the German automaker is now firmly locked in damage control mode, and making arrangements to extract the ‘defeat devices’ used to deceive emissions tests in approximately 11 million of its vehicles worldwide, even stopping sale of its diesel models altogether in some markets.
“Toyota will be the No. 1 for this year,” Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan, said by phone to Bloomberg. “VW may be facing sales difficulties due to the scandal toward next year in Europe and the U.S., and I don’t see the Chinese market coming back anytime soon.”
As Volkswagen races to contain the matter, Toyota is ramping up to start deliveries of its all-new Prius hybrid – the first major redesign in almost seven years. With this new generation, Toyota is boasting sportier characteristics and greater gains in fuel economy.