Volkswagen has been selected as the car industry's 'best performer in 2010' by the influential German Centre for Automotive Management. VW as placed ahead of Daimler and Hyundai with BMW in fourth place.

Toyota, the top company in 2009 according to the study, slipped to eighth ahead of Nissan and General Motors.

It's the first time that VW has headed the rankings which consider each group's financial results, market share and capacity for innovation.

On innovation, VW  "recorded the biggest gulf with other auto manufacturers", said CAM director Stefan Bratzel.