Volkswagen AG has already made public its ambition to be the number 1 automaker by 2018, and was even hopeful that it might take over the number 1 spot in 2012 with total sales of 9.07 million vehicles. However, Toyota returned 9.7 million vehicles to remain the global leader, despite safety recalls and many other problems for the Japanese leader.
What has to be remembered is that VW covers 12 brands these days (including Porsche) so has opportunities on different fronts and Toyota has had local problems related to the tsunami and boycotts of its models in China with the disputed ownership of some islands between Japan and China. These problems will settle during this year.
With sales in Europe still not looking up, I would expect VW sales to plateau, while Toyota will increase during 2013. We will see in December.