TOKYO, 30th January, 2017 (WAM) — Volkswagen has reclaimed the crown from Toyota as the world’s largest carmaker by sales, the Financial Times reported.

The Japanese car group, which also includes its Daihatsu and Hino subsidiaries, said on that its global sales rose 0.2 per cent to 10.2m vehicles in 2016. That fell short of the 10.3m vehicles sold by VW, which also owns the Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Bentley brands.

But the company has continued to perform strongly in China, where sales rose 12 per cent to almost 4m vehicles last year.

Analysts say sales in the world’s two largest car markets the US and China will continue to be a critical factor as VW tries to maintain its lead over Toyota in 2017.

The Japanese carmaker has said it expects global sales to remain flat at 10.2m vehicles this year as the company focuses on steady profits rather than pursuing breakneck expansion of sales.