Volkswagen Group has reportedly displaced Toyota for the first time as the world's largest car manufacturer.

IHS Global Insight analysts claim that VW Group produced 4.4m vehicles in the first nine months of the year, overtaking Toyota by 400,000 units.

GI said Volkswagen was able to beat Toyota thanks to increased sales in China, Germany and the UK even amid the global recession.

Toyota performed poorly at the start of the year, with its output plummeting to 1.1 million units in the first quarter from 2.1 million units in the same period last year.

Toyota emerged as the world's largest automaker last year with a total annual output of 9.24 million units, overtaking GM, which had maintained the lead for over 80 years.