A Toyota Prius and a VW Tiguan are pictured at a Tokyo dealership.
Toyota’s operating profit margin for its 2015 fiscal year, which ended March 31, was 10.1 percent, making the Japanese automaker the envy of the industry. The number also includes Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm, which is responsible for products like the new T6 Transporter, as well as the MAN and Scania truck marques.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it sold 5.02 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, down 1.5 percent from last year.
The wire agency said Volkswagen’s bid to raise volume has been costly for the company, with numerous models and equipment that eat into its profitability. The improving performance in Europe was also able to counterbalance the blow from the slowdown in its biggest market, China. General Motors and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), for instance, are on the same ship with high exposure to the local automotive market.
Sales in China – Volkswagen’s largest single market – dropped almost 4% in the first half of the year.
At the halfway mark of 2015, Volkswagen leads Toyota both GM in the quest for the global sales crown.
Toyota bucked the market trend with a 42% gain during the month and boosted sales during the first half by 10% to 512,800 vehicles.
Automakers are being challenged by softening conditions in markets like China and Russian Federation, and Volkswagen is cautious about the outlook.
For the Volkswagen Group, sales rose in Western Europe (up 6.9 percent) and North America (up 6.0 percent).
GM, which makes the Cadillac and Opel cars, was third with 9.92 million vehicles in global sales past year. For the half year, the decline was 0.5 percent.
Across the twelve months of 2014, Volkswagen sold 10.1 million cars in total, and the brand is aiming to “moderately” exceed that figure by the end of this year. Deliveries slumped 8.2 percent for the Toyota and Lexus brands and 13 percent for Daihatsu.
VW’s top management has since been trying to regain the initiative, though other top players, notably its unions and stakeholder Lower Saxony, are seeking to influence the course of its move to a leaner structure as VW is pushing 5 billion euros of cost savings in its core division.