Volkswagen is back on top . . . outside the United States.
The German automaker is now the best-selling car company in the world, having sold 10.3 million vehicles globally last year (2016) compared to Toyota's 10.1 million. The basic reason for this achievement, according to automotive journalist Maria McCarthy, is that most people consider VWs to be generally solid cars overall, despite a few teething problems with some of their more mundane components. Also, McCarthy says, many consumers worldwide have forgiven Volkswagen for the diesel emissions scandal and have developed respect for the firm for handling how it's handled it since the affair broke.
Alas, only a few of those 10,300,000 vehicles VW sold found their way into American driveways; as noted earlier on this blog, Volkswagen sales are still down in These States. Again, we Americans are not a forgiving people. Many of us Yanks are still pretty darned ticked off (to put it mildly) about VW's sins, and even those of us who are VW enthusiasts are embarrassed by the whole thing. Still, this is good news. It means that VW is getting its mojo back. And in America, it has nowhere to go but up and is setting its sights on an upward trajectory.
Maybe the Atlas SUV and the Golf Alltrack wagon will be the catalysts for a robust VW comeback. Maybe, as a result, the retro Microbus will finally get built, and maybe a subcompact below the Golf will finally join VW's U.S. and Canadian lineups for the first time since 1993. Then again, maybe VW will get killed in the United States by the 20 percent Mexican-import tax Donald Trump has proposed for products like the Puebla-built Golf and Jetta. :-O