Japanese carmaker Toyota has indicated it's not expecting to profit directly from the huge emissions cheating scandal that has hit its German rival Volkswagen. Toyota is expecting little growth in sales next year.
Toyota said Wednesday it expected to shift 10.114 million vehicles in 2016, up only slightly from the 10.098 million units it estimates it will have sold in 2015 once year-end totals are tallied.
The world's top-selling auto maker for the last three years straight said stagnating sales would be a result of slower growth in some parts of the world, including some key emerging economies.
The maker of the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury brand indicated it would not be able to profit much from the emissions cheating scandal plaguing its German rival, Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen.
Volkswagen Group - which comprises several brands, including VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, and Porsche, among others - had been able to overtake Toyota in sales in the first half of this year. However, it's not yet clear who will snatch the sales crown for the full year. It remains a neck-and-neck race.
Volkswagen itself said it would consider itself lucky if it manages to meet this year's sales target of 10.14 million vehicles and keep sales at that level in 2016, too.
From January to November, VW Group shifted some 9.1 million cars globally, marking a 1.7-percent drop from the same period a year earlier. Pundits said the decline was in part a reflection of increasing consumer uncertainty in the wake of Volkswagen's pollution scandal, which broke in September.
The company's core VW brand suffered a 2.4-percent drop in November and is likely to be hit further as Volkswagen tries to come to terms with the scandal.
"Considering the difficult situation the VW brand is in at present, I don't think we'll be able to recover lost ground until the end of the year," VW senior executive Jürgen Stackmann told reporters.
hg/nz (dpa, AP)