Toyota tops VW in global vehicle sales

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Toyota Motor Corp said Monday it had sold nearly 7.5 million vehicles for the first nine months of 2015, overtaking embattled German carmaker Volkswagen as the world’s largest group by sales for the period.

Toyota, which includes Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd, said the number of cars sold worldwide for the first three quarters stood at 7.498 million units, down 1.5 per cent from a year earlier due to weak domestic sales.

VW reported nine-month sales totaling 7.43 million units while General Motors sold 7.2 million for the same period, it said earlier this month.

During the first half of 2015, VW took the crown as the world’s top-selling carmaker, displacing Toyota and allowing the German group to reach its goal of overtaking its Japanese rival.

But since then, VW has been engulfed by a scandal after it admitted last month that it had cheated on exhaust emissions tests for up to 11 million its diesel-powered vehicles around the world.

The scale of the emission affair now threatens to hit VW global sales.

The scandal set off a management shake-up at the group and an avalanche of criminal investigations and lawsuits in what could become the most expensive scandal in car industry history.

Volkswagen announced on Monday that Thomas Sedran, who was the former head of General Motors European offshoot Opel had been appointed VW chief strategist as it steps up its efforts to emerge from the emissions crisis.

VW, which produces VW Golf, Porsche, Bugatti and Audi, sold 10.14 million vehicles in 2014.

Toyota started Wednesday to recall 6.5 million vehicles worldwide over a faulty power-window switch, which could potentially cause overheating or a fire.

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