Volkswagen Group has displaced Toyota for the first time as the world's largest car manufacturer in terms of production. The German carmaker produced 4.4 million vehicles in the first nine months of the year, overtaking its Japanese rival by 400,000 units, consulting firm IHS Global Insight said on Wednesday.
Volkswagen Group owns a variety of models such as Skoda and Seat and high-end lines Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. In July it expanded its stable by acquiring Porsche.
HIS Global Insight said Volkswagen was able to beat Toyota thanks to increased sales in China, Germany and the U.K. even amid the global recession. Toyota performed poorly at the start of the year, with its output plummeting to 1.1 million units in the first quarter from 2.1 million units in the same period last year.
Toyota emerged as the world's largest automaker last year with a total annual output of 9.24 million units, overtaking GM, which had maintained the lead for over 80 years.