The high demand in the U.S. for Camry sedans and Prius hybrids contributed to helping Toyota Motor Corp. achieve an 18% increase in global sales. Toyota was able to widen its lead over General Motors, the global volume leader in 2011. Yurika Motoyoshi, a Toyota spokeswoman, said that the company delivered 2.43 million cars and trucks in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 (including subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co.). A year ago, it had deliveries of 2.06 million. Toyota sold 7.4 million units through September, marking a 28% increase. GM spokesman Jim Cain said that in the quarter, GM sold 2.28 million units. From the start of this year through September, it has sold 6.95 million units.
Ed Kim, an industry analyst at researcher AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, Calif., said that he didn’t expect Toyota to recover this quickly and that many underestimated Toyota’s huge loyal owner base. For this year, President Akio Toyoda aims to launch 19 models as Toyota aims toward getting back the recognition as the world's biggest carmaker.
Toyota is relying on the U.S. to offset its declining sales in China, where a territorial conflict with Japan is putting at risk Toyota's target of selling a record 9.76 million vehicles globally in 2012. Toyota’s China sales in September declined by 49%, its largest decline since January 2002. On Oct. 9, Toyota said that it sold 197,700 units in China in the past quarter, 23% lower than last year’s figure. Back then, Dion Corbett, a company spokesman, said that it would be “very difficult” to meet the annual China target.