Volkswagen Group is now the world's top carmaker in
money terms after overtaking Toyota in annual sales, but still lags
behind General Motors in the number of vehicles made, a study
released Wednesday said.
The consultants Ernst & Young said the German group had more than 159.3 billion euros in sales last calendar year, topping Japan-based Toyota's sales, equivalent to 158.9 billion euros. Toyota was hit last year by natural disasters that idled some of its factories.
General Motors' sales were equivalent to 108.0 billion euros, but the U.S.-based group makes cheaper cars and sold more units, 9 million, than VW, which sold 8.3 million vehicles. Toyota sold just under 8 million.
The study, released in Stuttgart, Germany, said Volkswagen Group was helped higher in the rankings by securing a majority stake last year in the German truckmaking company MAN. Ernst & Young said it employed published financial results and its own calculations.
Volkswagen has previously said it aims to be the world's top automotive group by 2018. The report said it was conceivable that Toyota would resume the lead, but this would not happen quickly.
Separately, Volkswagen said March sales at its principal Volkswagen brand set a record of 537,000 vehicles, up 14.6 percent from a year ago. The previous day, another group brand, Audi, said its March sales had been the highest in that marque's history.
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