Volkswagen is now the world’s best-selling automaker after posting better numbers in the first half of 2015 than Toyota, which had held the No. 1 spot since 2012.
The German automaker outsold its Japanese nemesis 5.04 million cars to 5.02 million, thanks in large part to a 1.5% drop in Toyota sales. CEO Martin Winterkorn always said he wanted his company to lead global sales by 2018, so that goal was achieved three years sooner than expected.
General Motors ranks third with 4.86 million vehicles sold in the first half of the year.
At the end of 2014, Toyota barely edged VW with 10.23 million units sold versus 10.14 million. Interestingly, though, both manufacturers seem not to care about who’s the top seller in the world.
"We do not comment on the figures of other automakers," Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan wrote in an email to USA Today. "The goal of the Volkswagen Group is to focus on qualitative growth and not being No. 1 in sales."
"Sales volumes or being the largest global automaker has never been a goal for Toyota," Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin answered back to the newspaper. "Our focus is on getting our products and services right for our customers and ensuring we are exceeding their needs and expectations. We congratulate VW on achieving its stated goal."