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Toyota reclaims ‘world’s biggest car manufacturer’ status
Toyota has reclaimed its position as the world’s biggest car manufacturer after a sales slump in 2011 following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami saw it lose the top spot.
The firm sold 9.7 million vehicles worldwide in 2012, ahead of its biggest rival General Motors’ 12-month total of 9.29 million units.
Toyota usurped GM as the leading global car manufacturer in 2008 before the American manufacturer retook its long-held title in 2011.
Although both motor industry giants saw a rise in sales over 2012, the Japanese firm recorded a bigger increase as production returned to normal following the natural disaster in Japan a little under two years ago.
Toyota also rolled out a new version of its popular US Camry model last year contributing towards the rise in sales, which increased by nearly a quarter at 22% compared to only a 2.9% rise for GM.
Experts believe that Toyota will retain its position as the world’s largest car manufacturer for 2013 as well, as the marque is due to roll out a new Corolla compact hatchback in the States this year.
However, both manufacturers look set to face stiff competition from Volkswagen in the future.
Last year the German firm shifted 31% more vehicles in the US compared to 2011 and 11% more units worldwide, recording total sales of 9.1 million vehicles.
It is expected that GM will hold off Volkswagen for second place in 2013 at least, as the Wolfsburg manufacturer has a greater presence in Europe – a market that is experiencing dwindling new car revenue as weak economies and high unemployment produce unfavourable economic conditions.
After that, expect to see Volkswagen overtake GM – but will its growth plans remain on course to challenge Toyota by 2018?
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