While Toyota and General Motors continue to duke it out for first place among the world’s largest automakers, the lower rungs have been equally hotly contested. It came as a shock to many that Hyundai-Kia had surpassed Honda to take the Number 5 spot, but if you think the battle is being waged purely between the Far East and North America, don’t discount Europe for long. The continent’s largest auto group, Volkswagen, has claimed its place on the podium as the world’s third largest automaker, beating out Ford in the first half of this fiscal year.
The numbers, of course, are based on sales worldwide, and they could very well change by the end of the year. Although Ford’s own namesake brand surely accounts for the bulk of its sales, the FoMoCo multi-brand conglomerate that once included the Premier Auto Group has dissipated of late, while VW’s numerous subsidiaries – including Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti – continue to thrive. All the more impressive, then, that a tiny company like Porsche is on the verge of seizing it all.