VW overtakes Ford as 3rd-largest automaker

In the first half of 2008, Germany's Volkswagen over took Ford as the world's third largest carmaker in terms of vehicle sales. VW's sales to dealers rose 7.2 percent to 3.31 million vehicles, whereas Ford's sales were at 3.22 million.

Ford's figures also include about 125,000 Land Rover and Jaguar sales up until those two automakers were sold to Tata Motors in early June.

It's worth noting that the automakers reported sales to dealers - wholesale sales - which can sometimes be a little tough to read as automakers will occasionally push more vehicles on dealers than they can realistically sell to customers. Ford only uses wholesale figures, whereas Volkswagen also reported actual retail sales for the same period of 3.27 million vehicles, according to Reuters.

Regardless, the figures indicate both Ford's difficulties and Volkswagen's recent successes.