Volkswagen Tiguan-08

The ongoing “war of the numbers” between Toyota and the Volkswagen Group looks set for another switch of position, with the latter expected to overtake the former as the world’s largest automaker.

In the nine months through September, VW Group’s sales went up by 2.4% to about 7.61 million, whereas Toyota’s worldwide deliveries rose 0.4% to 7.53 million vehicles in the same period.

Automotive News reports that VW’s success, despite the ongoing emissions scandal, comes from the brand’s leading position in China, where it sells three cars for every one that Toyota shifts. The company reports a double-digit increase in sales of 10.7% to about 2.58 million units during the January-September period.

The Group’s numbers are also boosted by strong demand for other brands under its umbrella, including Audi, Porsche, Skoda, SEAT, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Meanwhile, Toyota experienced two unfortunate incidents, with the first being an explosion at a steel supplier in February, resulting in its factories shutting down for a week. Earthquakes in Japan’s south in April also forced another suspension of production. Unlike VW, Toyota outsells VW in the United States, but falling gas prices there have led to a reduction in demand for models like the new Prius.