Volkswagen Group soared past Toyota Motor as the world's largest automaker in 2016, capturing the crown for the first time in a bittersweet accomplishment attributable almost entirely to sales in China.
Though VW coveted the crown for years, having set its sights on the title by 2018, don't expect to see a festive celebration after the company was engulfed in a global emissions scandal.
The company recently agreed to pay some $22 billion in settlements and plead guilty to criminal charges in the U.S. over its admission that it rigged diesel vehicles with software to cheat emissions regulations.
What's more, VW CEO Matthias Mueller recently said the company would no longer make volume leadership one of its primary goals.
Still, it's a notable achievement for VW, which sold 10.31 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, up 3.8% from a year earlier.
Toyota said late Sunday that it had sold 10.18 million vehicles, up 0.2%, confirming suspicions that it slipped out of the top spot. The Japanese automaker had held the crown for seven of the last eight years, having passed General Motors in 2008 for the top spot.
GM, which had held the crown for decades, ...