Toyota retains title of world’s top automaker

Toyota retains title of world's top automakerToyota motor Corp. appears set to retain its title as the world’s top-selling car maker as company figures show it outpacing General Motors and Volkswagen while boosting overseas sales to a record high.

According to Toyota, for the first six months of 2013 it group wide global sales totaled 4.91 1 million vehicles, down 1.1% from sales of year ago. The reduced sales figures are due to the end of green car subsidies, however sales in the United States which is its biggest market, remained strong.

To place the numbers in perspective, General Motor Co.’s sales for the first half of the year rose 4% to over 4.8 5 million cars and light trucks. The Japanese automaker’s other biggest competitor, Volkswagen AG’s sales likewise climbed 5.5% to 4.7 million vehicles according to reports by the companies earlier this month.

However, it is important to note that Volkswagen sales figures exclude its Scania and MAN brands. The Scania sold 37,980 vehicles during the same period and the MAN sales figures will be released later this month. During recent years the MAN has sold between 60 and 70,000 vehicles during the first half of the year.

While Toyota currently retains the title for top automaker, in the second quarter of this year GM outsold Toyota for the first time in six quarters. The GM numbers are indicative of the resurgence of US automakers following their bankruptcy several years earlier. Additionally, US automakers are now preparing to roll out of the best cars they have built in a generation.

During the last quarter Toyota reported it had sold 2.4 8 million vehicles, just shy of the 2.4 9 million vehicles GM discloses it sold. However, Toyota total sales figures remained ahead of Volkswagen, which sold 2.3 9 million vehicles during the last quarter.

After previously slipping to third place behind GM and Volkswagen during 2011, Toyota regained the global sales crown last year. Toyota’s slump was primarily due to its supply chain and disrupted by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand and a series of costly recalls that damaged its reputation for quality. Prior to 2011, the auto giant was on top from 2008 through 2010.

When Toyota announces its quarterly results on August 2, is expected to post an 84% year on year rise in operating profits to 649 billion yen, which is equivalent to 6.5 billion in US dollars. Analysts’ forecasts also predict the company will post a 10.8% operating profit margin.

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About the author

Justin focuses on tech and internet news.