by Christopher Freeburn | January 14, 2013 1:02 pm
Toyota (NYSE:TM) is back on top as the world’s biggest car maker. Last year, Toyota sold 9.97 million vehicles, compared to just 9.29 million for American rival General Motors (NYSE:GM).
GM lost the top-selling crown to Toyota in 2008, after decades as the world’s largest carmaker, but regained it in 2011 after the Japanese tsunami shut down many Toyota factories, the Associated Press noted.
Over the last year, Toyota’s sales and production have bounced back. Last year, Toyota’s worldwide sales jumped 22%, compared to just 2.9% for GM. The Japanese auto giant has also updated versions of its popular cars, including the Camry. A new Corolla is expected to debut this year.
Hot on GM’s heels is Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY), which sold 9.1 million vehicles worldwide last year. VW sales soared 34% in the U.S. in 2012 and 11% worldwide. However, it faces sluggish sales in Europe, its major market.
While its sales may be surging, Toyota has recently suffered a number of vehicle recalls, including the recall of 2.77 million vehicles around the world in November due to defective steering systems and water pumps.
Shares of Toyota rose almost 1% in Monday afternoon trading, while GM shares slipped fractionally.
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