Volkswagen's financial results show a 0.8 percent jump in deliveries versus Q1 2015. Volume grew in Europe and Asia, including a 6.4 percent jump in China. However, the company's emissions scandal took a toll on North American numbers, which dropped 2.1 percent in the first quarter. The US alone was down 5.7 percent. South America weakened with a 27.6 percent decrease in volume.
Toyota's deliveries dropped 2.3 percent over the same period last year. The company had an unforeseen problem with a steel shortage from a Japanese supplier. The issue forced the automaker to suspend all assembly in the country for a week. It also had a rough start to the second quarter after earthquakes forced the company to stop nearly all production in Japan. A few factories still haven't reopened, and Toyota hasn't indicated when vehicles might come off those lines again.
GM's Q1 volume fell 2.5 percent, but the company had record financial results for the quarter. It did especially well in the US where retail deliveries grew 7 percent.
VW shouldn't yet get too excited about its first-place position. The German business was also the world's largest automaker through the first half of last year, but the emissions scandal eventually scuttled that success.