VW steals global sales top spot from Toyota despite emission scandal

Troubled German carmaker Volkswagen surpassed Toyota Motor in global sales in the first half of 2016, despite an emission cheating scandal that had threatened to engulf VW, sales results showed Thursday.

Worldwide sales for the Toyota group, including Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors, stood at 4.99 million vehicles in the January-June period, down 0.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

VW sold 5.12 million units globally in the same period, the carmaker said Wednesday.

Japan's largest carmaker was forced to halt production due to supply disruptions following two major earthquakes that hit Kumamoto prefecture in April and a blast at a steel plant run by its affiliate in May.

VW took the crown from Toyota as the world's top-selling carmaker for the first time in the first half of 2015, before the German automaker was caught cheating on emission tests on its diesel cars by US environmental authorities, which hit sales.

However, VW reported on Thursday a sharp fall in second quarter profit at its core VW brands as its struggles to emerge from the emissions scandal.

Earnings before interest (EBIT) at VW's core Golf and Passat brands in the three months to the end of June fell to 808 million euros (896 million dollars) compared with 914 million euros in the same period last year.

"We produced a solid result in difficult conditions," said VW group Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter.

"This shows that the Volkswagen Group has high earnings power," he said.

"But it will require continued hard work to absorb the significant impact from the diesel issue," he said.

VW has launched a major review of costs at its VW brand operations after it admitted last September to cheating on emission tests for about 11 million vehicles around the world.

Based in the northern German city of Wolfsburg, VW said it was setting aside additional provisions of 2.2 billion euros to help meet the costs of the scandal, which has prompted legal action, recalls and vehicle repairs.

Last update: Thu, 28/07/2016 - 12:19

More from Business

ECB to hold rates, decides against extending bond-buying scheme

The European Central Bank left its key interest rates at historic lows on Thursday and left its 80-billion-euro-a-...

Nissan finishes purchase of 34-per-cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors

Nissan Motor has completed its purchase of a 34-per-cent stake in scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors for 237 billion...

EU seeks to strengthen trade defence measures as China threat looms

The European Commission proposed a new compromise Wednesday to protect EU industry against unfairly cheap imports,...

Study shows Europeans work 19 per cent fewer hours than Americans

Europeans work on average 19 per cent fewer hours per year than Americans, a new study by three economists from the...

Final decision on VW settlement expected within week

Volkswagen seems well on the way to get final approval on a proposed settlement in the emissions test scandal, but...