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by David Zalstein

Toyota Motor Corporation looks likely to reclaim the top spot in global vehicles sales in 2012 ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen AG after rebounding from last year’s Japanese and Thai natural disasters with a strong first half to the year.

Bloomberg reports Toyota sales have increased 34 per cent in the first half of 2012 to 4.97 million vehicles globally. The figure sees the Japanese automaker ahead of GM by 300,000 units and Volkswagen by 520,000.

GM and Volkswagen have both enjoyed an increase in sales but not to the same extent as their Japan-based rival, rising 2.9 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively.

Part of Toyota’s successful bounce-back has been attributed to markets, with Toyota seeing good sales in the US and Japan, while GM and Volkswagen are dealing with declines across Europe.

Volkswagen Golf GTI - Front

The sales race for all three brands includes figures of other marques included in their associated groups. For Toyota this means Lexus, Hino and Daihatsu, and brands including Holden, Chevrolet, Opel and China’s Wuling, among others, for GM. Volkswagen’s significant spread sees the likes of Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini and Bentley all contribute but sales of the recently purchased Porsche are so far not included, with control not taking effect until next month.

In 2008 Toyota claimed the title of the world’s largest automaker by sales from GM before the Detroit-based company wrested back the crown last year following Toyota’s difficulties.

Toyota’s positive year was highlighted recently with the manufacturer celebrating the milestone of producing its 200 millionth car.




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