The first half of 2015 may have seen Volkswagen overtake Toyota in global sales, but the Japanese automaker was able to regain the top spot in global auto sales towards the end. With it, Toyota was able to clinch their fourth consecutive title as the world's biggest car manufacturer.
Total global sales of Toyota for 2015 amounted to 10.151 million vehicles, while Volkswagen AG was able to sell 9.93 million cars. Landing third again was General Motors (GM), which was able to muster 9.8 million vehicles.
Toyota increased their global sales figures for 2015, but budget brand, Daihatsu, suffered a decline in sales. Toyota itself sold 9.189 million vehicles (9.14M last year) worldwide, while Hino was able to repeat its sales figure last year of 168,000. Daihatsu, on the other hand, was only able to sell 794,000 vehicles worldwide. This is in stark contrast to their performance last year, which amounted to 915,000 units.
Even with the stellar sales figures, Toyota originally predicted that 2015 would have overall lower sales. The company itself may have increased its sales, but Daihatsu's steep drop contributed to the 2015 figures.
Volkswagen had the upper hand in mid 2015, but ultimately lost the top spot when the 'Dieselgate Scandal' wherein the company was found cheating emissions tests in the US, broke out. The company still performed relatively well in Europe (specifically Germany), but the Russian economic crisis and sudden decrease of sales in South America and China also affected Volkswagen in 2015.
General Motors upped its global sales figure by 0.2% thanks to the 9.8 million vehicles sold for 2015. The company's biggest market is still China, with 3,612,636 units, while the US is at second with 3,082,366. Sitting in third is Brazil with 388,025 vehicles. Overall, the company stated that brands like Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac performed well for 2015.
Beside achieving the coveted title, 2015 also saw Toyota debuting several new models like the 8th-generation Hilux and the all-new Fortuner. In addition, the company also announced their scheduled return to World Rally Championship by 2017 and their partnership with Mazda.