Volkswagen passes Toyota as world's largest automaker.
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 booming 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. The company is engulfed in a global emissions scandal that takes the sheen off its accomplishments. 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.