Volkswagen has a long term plan to become the world's largest automaker and it appears stage one has been completed after the German company overtook Ford to take third place in global vehicle sales rankings.

Volkswagen has a long term plan to become the world's largest automaker and it appears stage one has been completed after the German company overtook Ford to take third place in global vehicle sales rankings.

The VW Group announced that they had sold 3.31 million vehicles in the first six months of 2008 representing an increase of 7.2 percent, it puts them healthily ahead of the their American counterparts who sold 3.22 million vehicles during the same period.

“We are delighted that the Volkswagen Group has made it to the global automobile industry’s top three for the first time. This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program. We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented.

Volkswagen will likely have their sights set on their next target – General Motors. The American giants who until recently had held the number 1 spot announced earlier that they had sold 4.54 million vehicles up to the end of June this year, a drop of 3% compared to the previous year. Toyota's strong position at the top of the table continues with a 2.2% increase to bring total sales to 4.8 million.

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Volkswagen Overtakes Ford as World's Third Largest Automaker