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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

REPORT: VW takes over #1 carmaker slot, sings "Wir sind die Meister, mein Freund"

It was a little more than a year ago when Volkswagen, because of Porsche's stock market finagling, briefly became the most valuable company in the world. This was just after it passed Ford for the number three slot in global sales. Now the big company that could – powered by the little car that could – has passed Toyota to take the number one slot as the world's largest automaker.

Of course, there is some number play involved once again. We're talking about the combined entity VW-Porsche, which has built 4.4 million cars to date, which is roughly 400,000 beyond Toyota's mark. However, Toyota halved its productionearlier this year and shut down all of its plants in February, and come summer, VW benefited much more than Toyota from the European cash-for-clunkers programs. VW's also got the edge on Toyota in China, where it has spent years introducing models specifically designed for that market.

The year isn't over yet, though, and Toyota still expects to build seven million cars this year. But stay tuned for Q4 of 2010, when it's announced that VW is officially bigger than the Beatles.

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