Volkswagen Passes Ford as the Third Largest Automaker in the World

Like a perfect sign of how bad things are in Detroit, Volkswagen has announced that it has surpassed Ford and is now the world’s third largest automaker. The German automaking powerhouse is already the largest in Europe. The company overtook Ford in the first half of the year as the world’s third-largest car maker based on vehicle sales.

"This shows that we are on the right track with our ever-stronger international presence and, above all, our product program," said VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn. "We will systematically push ahead with our growth course even in the present difficult market environment."

VW said its wholesales that include those to dealers jumped 7.2 percent in the first half of 2008 to 3.31 million vehicles, while Ford’s wholesales were 3.22 million during the same period. The most impressive part is that a lot of this is a direct result of American shoppers opting for a VW over the Ford. With Volkswagen on the roll, and now that it’s re-opening factories here in the states, there’s a good chance it could take on GM and Chrysler too. Change is coming, my friends.