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
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