“VW brands are always major forces pretty much anywhere they sell cars around the globe, and the fact that they are not a major force in the U.S. market is a complete anomaly,” said Toprak, who is based in Santa Monica, California. “They see this as a big growth opportunity, and they have the resources, people and know-how behind them to substantiate their claims.”
Volkswagen and GM chased Toyota for leadership in global auto sales through the first nine months of 2012, the most recent data available. The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker led through three quarters with 7.4 million deliveries, followed by GM at 6.95 million and Volkswagen at 6.9 million.
Toyota’s U.S. market share in 2013 may remain at 14.4 million, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Toyota added 1.5 percentage points of share last year, followed by Tokyo-based Honda’s gain of 0.8 percentage point.