For the first quarter in 2012, Toyota Motor Corp. sold the highest number of trucks and automobiles worldwide while its production recovered from the natural disasters that struck Asia last year. In a regulatory filing in the United States, the company disclosed that sales of vehicle models Toyota, Scion, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino increased 18% to 2.49 million in the first three months of the year.
With this achievement, Toyota took the lead in sales, followed by General Motors Co. with 2.28 million and Volkswagen AG with 2.16 million, Bloomberg's compiled data revealed. Jeff Schuster, who is the senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive in Troy, Mich., commented that "they have a new sense of competitiveness" and that "they certainly are bringing their volume back." He added that the automaker has "some new products" worldwide that will help with its target such as the new Camry and the Prius lineup.
In 2008, Toyota became the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the world in terms of unit sales, ousting GM from the lead position. This was the time when the market in the United States collapsed and GM entered into its 2009 bankruptcy.
GM recovered worldwide in 2011 while VW landed into the second spot as the output of Toyota was limited after the March earthquake in Japan and the massive flooding in Thailand. Jim Wiseman, who is the North American vice president of external affairs at Toyota, related that although being on the number one spot is not their main goal, it is "nice to see," as it reveals that they are "on the right track."
He added that they are "optimistic" that the "good momentum will continue" considering that customers are reacting "so positively" to all of the updated and new products that the automaker is introducing this year. Jim Cain, a spokesperson for GM, related that GM and Toyota both "have come a long way."
He stated that they are making progress in their plan for profitable growth and that they are seeing "strong sales" of their newest products, especially at Chevrolet. The Chevrolet has been the "fastest-growing" international brand for the "last two calendar years," Cain shared.