Despite the global emission scandal that shook sales of Volkswagen, the German carmaker has dethroned the four-year long leader, Toyota, as the World's Biggest Automaker in 2016. While the latter sold a total of 10.175 million vehicles across the world, the former took the lead by a close 10.31 million units. Although VW took a considerable dip in sales in early 2016 due to the scandal, sales in China aided in achieving this target. General Motors, who has been on top of this list for seven decades, before being taken over by Toyota in 2011, is yet to submit its global sales. In addition, a senior auto analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute stated the results highlight the importance of the Chinese market, where only a few VW's tainted diesel models are sold.
The German group, along with its parent brand also owns Audi, Porsche and various other manufacturers which is supposedly the prime reason for the jump in global sales. According to the analyst, Volkswagen could stay at the top for the next few years. In 2015, Toyota sold 10.15 million units, while Volkswagen was a close second with 9.93 million vehicles sold while GM was at third position with 9.8 million units. The projected growth for 2016, according to the company data, GM, VW: Deliveries, Toyota: Production was 10.085 million units for Volkswagen and 9.816 million vehicles for Toyota which was based on January to April 2016 global sales results.
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Volkswagen produced a certain set of vehicles that passed the emissions tests with the help of a 'cheat' device that produced the acceptable level of NOX emissions while idling (or being tested in a lab) to meet the USA emission standards. Real-world data, however, revealed that 40 times of NOX exited the tailpipe and after proper evidence, the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice under the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen Group. Over 11 million vehicles manufactured from 2009 to 2015 employed this technique to evade the permissible levels. Out of the said number, five lakh vehicles were sold in the United Stated of America. The recall exercise started in India in September 2016 with a software update on the 2.0 litre EA 189 diesel engine that was the forerunner in the emission scandal along with other diesel engines in the group's portfolio.