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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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VW overtakes Ford in global sales

2008-08-29 11:39
Volkswagen
Frankfurt - Volkswagen overtook Ford in the first half of the year as the world's third-largest carmaker by vehicle sales, VW said in a statement on Thursday, in yet another sign of Detroit's waning influence.

"We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has made it to the global automobile industry's top three for the first time," chief executive Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.

"This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program. We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment."

Volkswagen wholesales that include those to dealers rose 7.2% in the first half to 3.31 million vehicles, while Ford's wholesales were almost 3.22 million.

Ford's figure includes 125 000 units contributed by Jaguar and Land Rover until its sale to India's Tata Motors in early June.

Wholesale figures can often be more flattering, since carmakers have been known to push dealers to accept more vehicles than they can sell to customers.

Volkswagen usually bases its main monthly retail data on actual deliveries to customers, which in the first half rose by 5.8 percent to 3.27 million, suggesting dealer stocks rose on an absolute basis.

Ford does not publish deliveries figures, using only wholesales since they are the basis for their ultimate revenues that are booked under their quarterly income statement.

Although the figures underline the difficulties Ford is having in particular in the United States, the data is not entirely new, since both published results for the first half late in July.

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