VOLKSWAGEN HAS strengthened its position as Europe's top-selling car producer, largely at the expense of the American manufacturers and particularly Ford, according to the latest figures from Acea, the European car producers' association.
Japanese firms also made gains in a booming market, particularly Toyota, whose sales increased 34.3 per cent in July compared with the same month last year.
VW, including the Audi, Seat and Skoda brands, increased sales by 12.9 per cent in July to give it a 19.2 per cent share of the total western European market against 18.4 per cent this time last year. The share of the European market held by General Motors fell from 11.6 per cent to 11.3 per cent despite higher sales. But the big loser was Ford, which sold 9.5 per cent fewer cars in July. Its share of the market was down to 8.3 per cent from 9.9 per cent. Car sales overall were up 7.7 per cent, taking sales so far this year to 8,495,317.