Volkswagen may be first in sales

Stephen Beard Apr 17, 2009
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Volkswagen may be first in sales

Stephen Beard Apr 17, 2009
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Bill Radke: Moving to the auto industry now, there may be a new world leader. First-quarter numbers suggest Volkswagen may have pulled ahead of Toyota and GM in global sales. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: Volkswagen said it would make it to number one before the end of the next decade. It now looks as if it’s done it nine years early.

The data is still rather tentative, and it relates only to the first quarter of this year. But the signs are that VW is selling more cars than anyone else. It’s benefited from its powerful presence in China and Brazil. Demand for cars in these emerging markets is still strong. The problem for Toyota is its big exposure to the U.S.

Chris Brady, Dean of the BPP Business School:

Chris Brady: The U.S. market has really dived, and so we’re looking at a 35 precent depression in that market. And so a market where they’re very reliant on has gone down considerably more.

But he says Toyota could regain momentum later this year as it launches 16 new models. Volkswagen might then fall into second place, but he says no one doubts that the German company will stay ahead of General Motors.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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