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Volkswagen posts record full-year sales

Volkswagen unveils its VW ID Space Vizzion autonomous electric concept wagon (AP)
Volkswagen unveils its VW ID Space Vizzion autonomous electric concept wagon (AP)

Volkswagen has announced record sales for last year which could determine whether it keeps its crown as the world’s largest carmaker.

The firm, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, delivered 10.97 million vehicles in 2019.

That compares with 10.83 million in 2018, when Volkswagen edged out the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Toyota, although the alliance was slightly ahead when Volkswagen’s trucks were removed from the totals.

Volkswagen figures
The firm sold a total of just under 11 million vehicles for 2019 (AP)

The alliance and Toyota will report their figures in coming weeks.

In December, Toyota estimated its 2019 total would be 10.72 million, which would leave it behind Volkswagen.

Volkswagen was able to increase sales despite shrinking global car markets.

That means its market share increased against the competition.

Sales were boosted by strong results in its home market in Germany, the US and in Brazil, while sales slipped in the Asia-Pacific region.

Volkswagen has stressed that being the global sales leader is not a business goal, but has focused instead on its financial results.

The company’s diesel scandal, in which it rigged cars to cheat on pollution emissions tests, came amid a push under former CEO Martin Winterkorn to dethrone Toyota as number one in sales.

The company has since pivoted in the wake of the 2015 scandal toward electric cars as the industry seeks to meet tougher limits on greenhouse gases.