Mike Stevens | Apr 7, 2009

The international automotive industry has undergone some massive changes over the past year (to put it lightly). It wasn’t that long ago that General Motors was the number one carmaker in the world, with Ford a not-too-distant second.

Of course, the top spot was usurped by Toyota last year, forcing GM and Ford down to second and third respectively.

And then there was Volkswagen. Not long ago, the German giant began talking of plans to take the top spot, and it would seem now that its ambitions are not quite so distant anymore.

GM-sign

R.L. Polk Germany says that Volkswagen is verging on taking GM’s second-place ribbon in 2009, thanks ironically to a further 19 percent decline in new car sales in the global market.

Because of GM’s greater exposure to the US market, down 34 percent on the previous year, the American automaker is likely to feel the effects more acutely than Volkswagen.

The General’s production is expected to decrease by 31 percent this year, and with Volkswagen more insulated against fluctuations in the US market – with ‘only’ a 15 percent drop in production expected for 2009 - the German automaker stands a strong chance of surpassing GM.

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