Toyota Motor Corporation reclaim the title of the world’s biggest automobile maker, reporting a whopping 23% gain in global sales over previous year, selling 9.75 million vehicles in 2012. General Motors, which sold 9.29 million vehicles in 2012, was positioned at second place after seven decades at the top, while Volkswagen claimed the third spot with sold 9.07 million vehicles.
Toyota’s overseas sales jumped 19% while sales in Japan, where the economy has been troubled, recovered a by whopping 35% leap. Toyota achieved the numbers due to the unprecedented demand for its Prius family of hybrid cars, sedans like the Camry and SUVs such as the Lexus RX 350. Earlier this month, Toyota had reported that it had sold 2.1 million vehicles in the US last year, a 27% increase over 2011. Toyota stocks rose 0.2% to 4,350 yen at the midday break in Tokyo, approaching its highest close in more than four years.
For this year, Toyota has forecast sales of 9.91 million vehicles on expectations for more modest growth now that it has caught up on a backlog of orders from 2011. The world’s biggest vehicle maker also forecasts continued difficulties for itself and Japan’s other auto makers in China, which is the world’s largest auto market. Political tensions between Beijing and Tokyo mounted from mid-September last year resulting in plummeting sales of Japanese brands in China.
General Motors lost the coveted market leadership to Toyota in 2008, but reclaimed it in 2011 when Toyota’s production took a beating because of earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan, floods in Thailand, and negative publicity garnered for recall crisis in the US.