Volkswagen AG outsold General Motors Co. in China for the first time in nine years to recapture the leadership in the world’s largest car market among foreign automakers.
VW’s 2013 deliveries in the country climbed to at least 3.27 million vehicles, according to delivery figures released in the last two days by the German automaker’s VW, Porsche, Audi and Skoda brands. Detroit-based GM said earlier this week that the U.S. automaker sold 3.16 million cars in the country.
Unlike GM, VW counts Hong Kong in its tallies. GM’s figures include light commercial vehicles, which VW will not include when it releases official figures for the entire group.
Beating GM in China puts VW a step closer to its goal of becoming the world’s largest carmaker by 2018. As the stakes escalate — both have announced combined investment plans totaling $36 billion in the country — they’ll be facing mounting competition from the likes of Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. at a time when the government is cranking up scrutiny on vehicle sales to combat pollution.