The German company is now on track to take the number one spot in terms of worldwide sales, toppling Toyota from the top spot. Volkswagen reported sales of 5.04 million vehicles in the first half of the year, surpassing Toyota's 5.02 million in sales.
But the outlook for both companies looks tentative following China's stock-market volatility and slowing demand in the U.S. and emerging markets. The industry has continued to grow annually since 2009, but growth seems to be faltering. Deliveries increased just 4.4% in the first half in the U.S., foreshadowing what may be the smallest annual gain following the recovery of the market.
Toyota's quality index and profit margin still remain higher than Volkswagen's, and the Japanese car maker also maintains the top spot in the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, General Motors (GM - Get Report), the world's third biggest automaker, is investing $5 billion to expand its Chevrolet brand in emerging markets and create a new line of vehicles. GM will develop the cars with Chinese partner SAIC and is hoping to sell up to 2 million autos by 2030. The company will focus on markets including Brazil, China and India.
General Motors saw its worldwide deliveries drop 1.2% in the first half, dipping to 4.86 million autos. The company estimates that about 55% of sales growth will be accounted for by emerging markets during the next 15 years.
The company is hoping to make savings by streamlining its Chevrolet designs and using common parts and structures across its different models. The car maker is also looking to expand its technology and fuel saving offerings for new models.