German market research company R.L. Polk today predicted that in 2009, Volkswagen AG will surpass General Motors as the world's number two automaker in production volume. Toyota will likely retain its number one position.
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The firm also predicts that global passenger car production will drop some 19 percent in 2009, which would be the lowest volume since 1998. A 19 percent drop would mean production of 52.8 million units total.
A crushing 31 percent drop in GM production volume, who is surviving for just weeks more on government loans before an increasingly likely bankruptcy, is predicted by the same German firm. This is partially due to the especially dismal U.S. auto market where sales have tanked 38.4 percent through March. Volkswagen enjoys far more sales market diversity, selling its products around the world and a relatively small percentage of them in the U.S.
The good news from R.L. Polk Germany; sales should rise again in 2010, continuing that trend to top 70 million for the first time ever in 2012.