Toyota Motor Corp. posted just less than a 1% hike in global sales in the first nine months of 2013 to 7.412 million vehicles, but it was enough to keep its lead in the race for the crown as the largest carmaker in the world over close rivals General Motors Co. and Volkswagen Group. The carmaker attributed its performance to strong sales in the U.S., which was able to counter declines in Europe, Thailand and China.
Toyota's group-wide total includes sales at affiliates Daihatsu Motor and Hino Motors. GM, meanwhile, posted a 5-percent surge in global sales in the period to 7.25 million vehicles, while VW logged a 5-percent growth to 7.03 million vehicles. VW's sales figure excludes its Scania and MAN brands.
Scania sold around 56,220 vehicles in the first nine months of 2013. The Scania and MAN brands usually sell 200,000 vehicles combined in a full year.
Toyota managed to retake the global sales crown in 2012 after falling to third in 2011, behind VW and top-grosser GM. Analysts expect the Japanese carmaker to post JPY2.4 trillion ($24.7 billion) in operating profit for the year ending March 2014, surpassing the record JPY2.27 trillion it logged in the year ended March 2008.
Toyota, along with Daihatsu and Hino, expects to sell 9.96 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 2014. Toyota is expected to log JPY616.5 billion in operating profit when it publishes its results of the quarter ended September on Nov. 6.