While Toyota sold 49.9 lakh vehicles in the first six months of the year through June, its German rival clocked 51.2 lakh units in the same period. At third, American carmaker General Motors sold 47.6 lakh vehicles by the halfway mark in the current calendar year. The Wolfsburg-based carmaker had pulled ahead of Toyota at the same point last year too. But, it was soon hit by the massive emission scandal and the rest is history.

Despite the controversy though, VW has built sufficient momentum this year and looks set to end the year at the top of the pile. The Japanese manufacturer, on the other hand, saw first-half unit sales fall in North America -- a key market -- while US sales of its popular Prius hybrid fell by one-quarter.

It was also hit by plant shutdowns linked to deadly earthquakes in Japan earlier this year. Toyota, like other major carmakers like Mitsubishi and Honda, has also been adversely affected by the Takata airbag crisis, resulting in widespread recalls.

Toyota has been ruling the roost since 2008 when it first broke GM’s decade-long run at the top. It had to surrender the crown again in 2011 after the infamous earthquake-tsunami disaster disrupted proceedings. But next year immediately, Toyota reclaimed the throne from its American rival.

Source: cardekho.com