Toyota Remains World’s Top-Selling Automaker

Toyota TMDespite stiff competition from General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY), Japan’s Toyota (NYSE:TM) sold the most vehicles of any global automaker during the first quarter of 2013.

On Wednesday, Toyota posted first quarter sales of 2.43 million vehicles, down 2.2% from last year. The car maker saw its sales drop 13% in China, due to a backlash against Japanese brands. Sales in its home territory also declined 13%, the Associated Press noted.

Still, Toyota managed to squeak past GM, selling roughly 69,000 more vehicles than the U.S. auto giant, which posted worldwide sales of 2.36 million vehicles during the quarter, a 3.6% rise over last year.

Toyota eclipsed GM as the top-selling global automaker in 2008, though it ceded the crown back to GM in 2011 after the tsunami disrupted its auto operations. It took the title back last year.

Volkswagen ran third in the global sales race, selling 2.27 million vehicles worldwide, up 5.1% from the same time in 2012.

A number of Japanese carmakers, including Toyota, have seen their sales in China decline after the countries clashed over a group of barren, rocky islands in the East China Sea.

Shares of Toyota rose fractionally in Wednesday morning trading.

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