In the middle of GM’s meltdown, government bailouts, mergers and sales, there is a real battle for market share brewing. While GM slowly slid down the slope in global sales, Toyota took over the throne. Positioned right behind Toyota, Volkswagen is charging up with their fangs out. While everyone is taking a blow from the economy, Volkswagen is ready to pounce.
The car market might be stuck in the doldrums, but it’s all about market share. VW has had an 11.4% reduction in global sales, but that percentage is a lot less than many of the other cars they compete against. Even though sales are down, the wind isn’t out of their sails like it is for Toyota. The Japanese giant has taken a huge blow recently, with first quarter sales estimated down by 47%. Suddendly, playing catch up isn’t too tough for our friends from Germany.
With credit sources as dry as the Sahara, Toyota has been hit hard in their biggest markets. Volkswagen on the other hand, has seen strong growth in a key markets. Germany has been handing out $2,500 Euro vouchers to anyone who gets rid of a nine year old car for a new one, and many other European countries are offering similar programs. This really has given VW the homefield advantage. Sales in Brazil (which has a VW production plant), and the booming car market in China has only added to their strength.
It’s been quite a juggling act, with huge automakers rising and falling. VW has hopes to beat Toyota at world domination by 2018. We’ll see if they get juggled to the top or get dropped in their quest for success.