Toyota Motor Corp. had the highest sales of cars and trucks worldwide in the first half of 2012, proving that it has totally recovered from the production losses in Asia last year due to the calamities experienced in Asia. Toyota was able to widen its gap over General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Toyota’s spokesman in New York, Javier Moreno, said that the global sales of Toyota increased to 4.97 million during the first half. Company spokesman Jim Cain said that GM reported sales of 4.67 million vehicles for the first half of the year. In statement on July 13, VW said that it had sold 4.45 million vehicles in the first six months of 2012. With these results, Toyota is nearer to its aim to reclaim the top spot in annual worldwide auto sales from GM.
With the rebound in production, Toyota was able to make sales recover in the U.S. and Japan (which are its top two largest markets). Meanwhile, GM and Volkswagen reported a declining European market. Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with IHS Automotive, said that there’s a “tight race” between the two companies as the gap between them is currently at 300,000 unit (standing for a 7% difference in volume).
The lead of Toyota had grown from 210,000 vehicles over GM and there was a difference of 330,000 from VW sales after the first quarter. GM said that its first-half sales increased by 2.9% from the 4.54 million posted during the same period a year ago. For the title of largest automaker in the world, representatives from Toyota, GM and VW have been arguing with each other on which one is superior worldwide and who holds bragging rights and scale. Lindland said that GM would want to be at the top but then but it now prefers to be profitable.