NOW THIS is ONE for the BOOKS

 

VOLKSWAGEN has had a horror couple of years, but latest figures show the German group is now the world’s biggest car maker.

It has crept by Toyota with sales for 2016 of 10.31 million vehicles. That compares to its Japanese rival’s total of 10.17 million.

Despite the scandal that has mired the group during recent times, VW’s sales grew 3.8 percent – the first time it has been top of the pile. On the other hand, Toyota’s sales grew just 0.2 percent, and sees the title it has lovingly cherished for more years than any other automobile giant.

Of course, there are reasons for both. VW has a virtual stranglehold on European marques, while an earthquake and an explosion early last year in Japan didn’t help Toyota‘s production goals, the vanguard Prius hasn’t met expected sales in the US.

Toyota will release its 2016 figures in coming weeks, but the word is it’s likely to be ranked third!

Meanwhile former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who fronted VW’s Strategy 2018 plan to become the premier car maker on the planet, faces even more battles. German prosecutors are closing in.

Wednesday Volkswagen announced $Aus1.6b to resolve outstanding civil claims in the US over the “defeat device” software scandal.

Owners of some 78,000 vehicles fitted with 3.0-L diesel engines equipped with the device include the Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg and a range of Audis. The agreements need to be ratified by a court hearing due in May. The affected vehicles were sold from 2009-2016.

Edited by AC.