The battle for global automotive sales superiority has been fought and won by…Toyota.
For the second year in a row, Toyota topped General Motors in worldwide auto sales by selling a record 9.98 million vehicles, just about 270,000 more than GM, and up 2% over its previous year’s sales.
Not only did it beat GM again, the Japanese maker said it would do something next year no other vehicle maker has ever done: sell 10 million vehicles. It predicted sales would rise to 10.32 million vehicles in 2014.
GM finished second with 9.71 units sold and Volkswagen AG moved 9.5 million vehicles in 2013.
Toyota recaptured the global sales crown in 2012 from GM, which had been the top-selling carmaker for more than seven decades until being surpassed by Toyota in 2008. Toyota fell behind in 2011, in part, due to capacity issues related to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.
Toyota enjoyed strong sales growth last year in markets outside of Japan, but sales fell in its home market, which is enduring a sales slump right now.
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Toyota’s U.S. sales totaled nearly 2.24 million vehicles, up 7% from the previous year. It saw a similar increase in China where sales were also strong, jumping 9% to 917,000. The automaker expects U.S. sales to grow 3% to 2.3 million vehicles, while adding 20% in China sales to 1.1 million.
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The fight it faces isn’t going to be easy as GM is rolling out a variety of new models that are helping to generate a buzz for the Detroit-based maker, in particular new full-size pickup trucks and SUVs as well as a replacement for its mid-size trucks.
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