VW Passes Ford for Third in Global Sales
The times they are a-changing
By Brendan Moore
Volkswagen stated yesterday that it sold 3.31 million vehicles worldwide in the first six months of 2008, which puts it ahead of Ford by approximately 220,000 units. Which means VW has moved ahead of Ford as the No. 3 vehicle manufacturer in the world, behind only Toyota and General Motors.
Just last year Toyota moved ahead of Ford for the No. 2 sales spot in the United States.
Yes, Ford is going in the wrong direction. Ford, however, is worried about surviving first, generating some kind of profits second, and will worry about market share later.
Paradoxically, Volkswagen’s paltry market share in the U.S. may be actually helping it in the global race for unit sales. All of VW’s brands together (VW, Audi. Bentley and Lamborghini) only notch 2% of the whole U.S. market. But having a very small amount of exposure to a geographic market that is experiencing staggering sales drops is not a bad thing.
VW is going great guns in the rest of the world, though. Its lineup of mostly small fuel-efficient cars garners strong sales in the rest of the world.
VW has a plan to be the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world by 2018, meaning they will have to pass GM and Toyota in a decade. It seems to be an almost impossible undertaking, but even as recently as a few years ago, who would have thought they could have passed Ford in 2008? They have to be over the moon in Wolfsburg after yesterday’s sales figures came out, and conversely, it’s got to be another body blow to the people at Ford.
Official press release from Volkswagen Group follows:
VOLKSWAGEN OVERTAKES FORD
Volkswagen Group in the fast lane: Wolfsburg automaker now holds third place in global vehicle sales ranking
WOLFSBURG, Germany – The Volkswagen Group has taken its place among the world’s top three automakers thanks to the Wolfsburg-based company’s outstanding delivery figures in the first half of 2008. Rival Ford had to settle for fourth position.
“We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has made it to the global automobile industry’s top three for the first time. This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program. We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented.
With 3.31 million vehicles delivered in the first half of 2008, the Volkswagen Group increased deliveries in the first six months of this year by 7.2 percent, moving up to third place in the global vehicle sales ranking and overtaking its rival Ford, which announced vehicle sales of 3.22 million for this period.
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