Toyota Stays Topside as Dieselgate Drags on VW

Source: Toyota

Source: Toyota

A recent report by Reuters reveals that Toyota Motor Corporation has yet again outsold its closest competitor Volkswagen, putting the Japanese giant in place to start 2016 off with a bang. While many attribute this powerful pull to Volkswagen’s detrimental diesel emissions scandal, there is a lot to be said for what Toyota has been doing right as well.

Celebrating its fifth consecutive month of market domination back in November, Toyota aims to retain its place as the America’s top-selling automaker for the second half of 2015. If December sales remain solid, there’s little doubt that the brand will hold the title belt once more.

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

According to Reuters’s report, Toyota’s announcement that its group vehicle sales topped 9.21 million units for the January-November period puts it firmly in the forefront in the global market. Meanwhile, Volkswagen moved more than 9.10 million automobiles during the same period, a statistic that Reuters backs by saying that “Toyota has continuously outsold Volkswagen on a year-to-date basis since July.”

This slip in VW sales is at least partially due to customer loyalty issues revolving around the “Dieselgate” fiasco, as earlier this month Volkswagen admitted that brand sales fell 2.2% year-on-year in November. The German automaker has seen sales slump ever since emissions cheating software were exposed on certain diesel vehicles on September 18, which was followed shortly thereafter by a weak October that marked the first full month in which Europe’s largest automaker had to deal with both outraged customers and still attempt to sell new vehicles at the same time.

In contrast, group sales over at Toyota through November slumped slightly at 1.0% from the previous year, while Volkswagen group sales for the same period fell 1.7%. Though these numbers counter the underlying strength that the industry has seen so far this year, 2014 was a huge year for new car sales and therefore set this year up for some tough comparable sales figures.

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

But as detrimental as the entire diesel fiasco has been for VW, it’s not the only reason why Toyota has pulled ahead. Remember, Toyota began to take the lead back in July, months before any allegations were ever aimed at the German auto manufacturer, so perhaps this news has more to do with what Toyota is doing right than how Volkswagen has screwed up.

Toyota and its Lexus and Scion offshoots has been busy launching a pretty vigorous offensive and the Japanese automaker isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. We’ve been pretty kept pretty busy with all of the events, vehicles, and drives the Japanese firm has been throwing at us this year, and have been pretty impressed overall with what we’ve discovered.

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Scion unleashed both the practical iM hatchback, and economy-oriented iA sedan earlier this year, both of which are incredibly budget friendly, tech savvy, and aimed at millennials. When we tested and drove these two vehicles back-to-back in July, it became increasingly obvious that the Scion brand was setting itself up for success with these two inexpensive, well equipped offerings.

As you may have noticed, Lexus has also been on an increasingly aggressive marketing and launch kick, stunning us with turbocharged fun in both the NX 200t crossover and the IS200t F Sport, which we slung around the track this past October. But fantastic cars like the V8-equipped RC F and the absolutely sublime RX 350 F Sport aren’t the only thing the luxury brand has going for it, as Lexus continues to expel notions that it is a bland automaker with inventions like the world’s first hoverboard.

It is also worth noting that Toyota itself has been busy building on its own successful line of automobiles, with both the redesigned RAV4 being finally offered as a hybrid, and the completely overhauled Prius making their presence known in the American market. Top that with the fact that the redesigned Tacoma is outstanding, and hardcore off-road trucks like TRD-PRO Tundra remain in high demand, and it is no wonder that Toyota will retain a strong hold on the reins as the industry leader in auto sales for the tail end of 2015.

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