Sales of Toyota Motor Corp vehicles (including subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino) increased 2.4 per cent to 9.98 million last year – 70,000 units above its initial forecast – holding off US giant General Motors (9.71 million) and Germany’s Volkswagen Group (9.7 million) to take the title.
Toyota is forecasting growth of 3.4 per cent in 2014, which would take it to an unprecedented 10.32 million sales for the year.
Toyota’s sales also led to big profits; Bloomberg reports the Japanese car maker earned more than GM and Volkswagen combined in the final quarter of 2013.
The chasing duo both closed the gap considerably to Toyota in 2013, however, with GM sales rising approximately four per cent last year and Volkswagen climbing almost five per cent over 2012’s figure.
Volkswagen remains committed to its goal of becoming the top-selling car maker in the world by 2018. In November, the group announced a plan to invest 84.2 billion euros ($131 billion) in its automotive division over the coming five years in pursuit of its ambitious target.
VW knocked GM out of top spot in China in 2013 for the first time in nine years, with sales soaring 16.2 per cent to 3.27 million.
Ford Motor Company overtook Toyota into third place in China despite the Japanese car maker posting record sales of 917,500 units. Toyota says it expects that figure to rise to 1.1 million in 2014 in the 20 million-plus Chinese new car market.
Toyota has been the leading automotive brand in Australia for the past 11 years. In 2013, Toyota sold 214,630 vehicles across the country, while luxury division Lexus added 6920 units to the tally.