Toyota wins back world's top auto sales crown from GM

Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:31am EST
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T regained the crown as the world's top selling automaker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors GM.N and Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE.

Toyota said on Monday it sold 9.75 million vehicles group-wide around the world last year, a record for the 75-year-old Japanese automaker and up 22.6 percent from a year ago.

The result was in line with the company's December forecast, and put it back in the No. 1 spot, which it lost in 2011 when it was hit by a wave of negative publicity after a recall crisis in the United States, and a disrupted supply chain following an earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand.

Toyota held the global sales crown from 2008 through 2010, but fell to third place in 2011 behind GM and Volkswagen.

GM sold 9.28 million vehicles in 2012, up 2.9 percent from a year ago, while Volkswagen sold 9.07 million vehicles, up 11.2 percent.

Toyota aims to sell 9.91 million vehicles group-wide globally in 2013, up 1.6 percent from 2012.

The Toyota group also includes sales at Daihatsu Motor Co 7262.T and Hino Motors Ltd 7205.T. Toyota-only sales hit a record-high 8.72 million vehicles, up 22.8 percent on a year ago.

Toyota's domestic rival Nissan Motor Co 7201.T said on Monday it sold a record 4.94 million vehicles globally in 2012, while Honda Motor Co 7267.T sold 3.82 million vehicles, up 19 percent.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Richard Pullin)

A visitor is reflected on a Toyota vehicle at the company's showroom in Tokyo June 17, 2011. REUTERS/Toru Hanai