Volkswagen Group said on Friday its vehicle deliveries rose 0.9 percent last year to a record 10.83 million, putting it neck-and-neck with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi in the race to be the world's biggest vehicle manufacturer.
Rivals Toyota Motor and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi have not released 2018 registration figures, but the Franco-Japanese alliance sold 10.6 million cars in 2017 and racked up sales of 5.54 million cars in the first half of 2018.
Toyota last month released a forecast for total global sales of 10.55 million cars last year, but has yet to confirm official numbers.
Volkswagen said the VW brand delivered 6.24 million vehicles last year, while premium brands Audi <NSUG.DE> and Porsche posted registrations of 1.81 million and 256,000 vehicles respectively.
This makes Audi the third biggest selling premium brand behind BMW, which delivered 2,125,026 cars and leader Mercedes-Benz, which sold 2.31 million passenger cars.