Volkswagen AG reported it sold 9.73 million vehicles worldwide in 2013, which puts it in second place for the year well behind Toyota and slightly ahead of General Motors.
Toyota sold 9.98 million units and while finishing third, GM sold 9.71 million cars and trucks. However, VW’s claim to second place isn’t quite so…simple.
The VW Group has more than a dozen brands across the world including Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and Seat.
The German maker’s totals include those brands as well as heavy-duty truck sales from its MAN SE and Scania AB units. GM doesn’t sell heavy-duty trucks so the argument can be made that GM is the second-best selling automaker among light-duty vehicles.
Toyota’s not above the fray on this as it includes sales from its Hino Motors and Daihatsu units. The Japanese maker was the top seller from 2008-2010 after GM held the title from 1931 through 2007. It captured the top spot in 2011 as Toyota productions suffered because the natural disasters that hit Japan.
While the German company’s “ascension” to second place may be debated, it’s desire to be No. 1 cannot. In fact, VW executives have repeatedly laid that out as their goal by 2018.
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The company is looking to expand its sales in the U.S. to more than 1 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles by 2018. VW chief Martin Winterkorn reiterated that commitment during the North American International Auto Show earlier this month.
VW is expanding its product offerings in the U.S. to make sure that happens, including revealing it plans to introduce a seven-passenger SUV that will be sold exclusively in North America by 2016.
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The new SUV is expected to be similar to the CrossBlue concept vehicle, which has been shown during past auto shows, the vehicle is currently in the development stage, according to VW of America’s new boss, Michael Horn.
He said he’s driven in the test version and expects it will sell well once it’s introduced. Horn added that VW will have to round out its portfolio to ensure it makes the 1 million vehicle goal. While not committing to any product in particular, the German maker’s line-up lacks entries in the small SUV/CUV and truck segments. Horn said the company has no plans to build a truck, but declined to comment about a small ute in the company’s future in the U.S.