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Tuesday, 30th October 2012
In Business In Japan,

Toyota enjoys strong global sales to remain largest auto maker

Toyota held onto its position as the world's largest automaker after selling 7.4 million vehicles around the globe in the first nine months of the year, which represented a significant rise on the previous year.

The surge in sales has seen it overtake General Motors and Volkswagen, which have so far amassed respective sales of 6.95 million and 6.7 million respectively. Toyota's position at the top of the table is made all the more impressive considering it trailed both of the other companies in total sales for 2011.

However, growth of 28 per cent for the Japanese automaker in the first three quarters of this year far exceeded the modest rises of 2.5 per cent and 9.7 per cent enjoyed by GM and VW respectively.

Leaders at Toyota will feel that the company is back where it belongs - it has sat at the top of the global charts unchallenged since 2008, except for last year when sales suffered as a result of the tsunami and earthquake that rocked Japan and hit some of the company's factories.

Despite this setback, the company quickly recovered and enjoyed particularly impressive sales in the US, accounting for a slight dip in Europe and parts of Asia.

According to Bloomberg, the company faces a stern test in the face of falling sales in China, where a territorial dispute between the two countries is having a negative impact on Japanese exports.

"Thinking back to the start of the year, I didn't expect Toyota to recover as quickly as it has," Ed Kim, industry analyst at researcher AutoPacific Inc, told the news provider. "Toyota has such a huge and massive owner base that keeps coming back for more and more. That was underestimated."

In order to maintain its lead, Toyota has already revealed its intention to launch a number of new models before the end of the year, and has set itself a target of selling 9.74 million vehicles globally in 2012.

Posted by Graham McPherson

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