Volkswagen Group delivered 10,312,400 new vehicles to customers last year, up by 3.8 per cent on 2015, to claim the honour of being the world’s best-selling automotive brand.
This success narrowly displaced Toyota from the top ranking as the Japanese giant delivered 10,175,000 vehicles (growth of only 0.2 per cent over 2015).
To put those numbers in perspective Volkswagen sold 933,300 vehicles in the month of December alone, whereas total Australian new car sales for all brands over the whole of 2016 was 1,178,133.
While Volkswagen’s overall sales in Europe grew by 4.0 per cent, worryingly sales at home in Germany decreased by 2.6 per cent. Despite the much-publicized legal angst from the ‘dieselgate’ scandal continuing in North America, Volkswagen’s 2016 in that market decreased by only 0.8 per-cent to 939,100 vehicles.
Meanwhile, in North America, total new vehicle sales in 2016 amounted to 17.5 million vehicles – that beats 2015 to become an all-time record year.
For the 35th consecutive year, Ford’s F-Series truck was America’s best seller – 820,799 vehicles to be precise (5.2 per cent up on 2015). The Chevrolet Silverado finished second with sales of 574,876 vehicles, and while that number is down by 4.3 per cent on 2015, growth of 28.8 per cent saw the smaller Chevrolet Colorado find 108,725 buyers.
The Honda CR-V was America’s most popular SUV with 2016 sales of 357,335 units (up by 21.1 per cent on 2015) - narrowly ahead of the Toyota RAV4 (352,154) and the Nissan Rogue (sold as the X-Trail in Australia) with 329,904 sales.
For passenger cars, Toyota’s Camry logged its15th consecutive year as America’s best-seller with sales of 388,618 vehicles (down by 9.5 per cent) ahead of Corolla which moved 378,210 units (up by 2.7 per cent) and the Honda Civic with 366,927 (up by 9.4 per cent).
And Toyota’s Sienna (not sold in Australia) was the number one mini-van with 2016 sales of 127,791 vehicles.