Volkswagen retains crown in global car sales

Volkswagen beat rival Toyota in global sales for last year, with 10.8 million vehicle deliveries.

German carmaker Volkswagen AG has maintained its top spot in global car sales, jostling the crown away from rival Japanese automotive maker Toyota Motor.

On Wednesday, Toyota said its sales rose 2% to 10.6 million vehicles last year, due to increased demand outside of its domestic market. Toyota’s score is lower than the 10.8 million vehicles Volkswagen had sold, based on a statement it gave earlier this month.

Since 2016, Volkswagen has been winning Toyota in sales numbers. In 2016, Volkswagen delivered 10.3 million vehicles, more than the 10.2 million cars Toyota sold, while in 2017, Volkswagen sold 10.7 million vehicles, higher than Toyota’s 10.4 million vehicles.

China unveils subsidies to drive car sales, carmakers face challenging year ahead

China’s appetite in imported cars has given Volkswagen a boost in its numbers in recent years, but the country's weakened economic growth will pose a challenge to the automaker to keep those numbers thriving.

China on Tuesday unveiled a flurry of subsidies aimed at spurring the sale of items including cars, to give its economy a leg up after government data showed it retreated to the weakest in nearly 30 years.

In a statement, the National Development and Reform Commission said restrictions will be loosened on the second-hand auto market, and ‘appropriate’ subsidies will be provided to support the rural sales of some vehicles and purchases of new energy vehicles.

Carmakers including Volkswagen and Germany’s BMW AG have warned of the challenging year ahead, amid the trade tensions and tougher carbon-dioxide (CO2) limits on vehicles which are hindering business growth. Although automakers have been pushing out electric cars, those cars are still more expensive to produce compared to combustion-engine vehicles.

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