The two behemoths of the car industry are going at it punch-for-punch again this year, with one battling to retain its number-one status and the other fighting to regain it.
The Volkswagen brand announced it had delivered 2,044,900 vehicles to the end of April this year, while Toyota announced its sales had risen to 2.6 million from January to March.
While that seems like a slam-dunk for the Japanese giant, the figures include Hino trucks and Daihatsu, while the German maker’s figure does not include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti (OK, forget Bugatti), Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat or Skoda.
Volkswagen’s board member for Sales, Jürgen Stackmann, explained that its 520,000 deliveries in April alone marked an 11 per cent jump over 2017.
“The Volkswagen brand has already passed the two million-vehicle mark after four months and has generated enthusiasm for Volkswagen with more customers than ever before,” he said.
“The sustained upward trend in our domestic market Germany, the USA and South America is particularly gratifying. It should be mentioned that the new Polo has already been delivered to 140,000 customers and that deliveries of the new T-Roc have reached 41,000 units.”
Its deliveries in its most profitable region, Western Europe have grown 12.9 per cent this year, with 28.9-percent growth in Italy leading the way and 15 per cent more in its domestic market of Germany.
It delivered marginally more (46,200) vehicles in North America than it did (42,100) in South America, with a 43 per cent rise in Brazil leading the southern continent to a 32.2-percent boost.
But Volkswagen’s engine room, unlike Toyota, is China, where it delivered 247,400 cars and SUVs in April alone. For every car it sells in Germany, it sells more than five in China.
Toyota Motor has the Volkswagen brand licked on profit, though, with a 43 per cent surge in profitability after a round of cost-cutting and improved warranty costs.
Its operating profit topped out at 629.6 billion yen (US$5.93 billion) in Japan’s fiscal final quarter (ending on March 31), on a 1.9-percent rise in revenues (7.58 trillion yen or US$71.36 billion).