Toyota Motor Corp. has held onto the No. 1 spot in global vehicles sales during the first six months of 2014.
Volkswagen AG came in second, replacing the recall-plagued General Motors Co. (GM).
Toyota’s January to June global sales totaled 5.097 million vehicles, up nearly four per cent from a year earlier. Sales grew in the U.S., Japan, Asia, and Europe. Sales in Japan were particularly strong due to a rush among consumers to beat the rise in the consumption tax that kicked in from April 1, Toyota said.
Toyota’s vehicle sales rose by 12 per cent in China, 8 per cent in Europe, and 5 per cent in North America.
Toyota, which makes the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models, finished at the top last year with a record 9.98 million vehicles. GM was second and VW third.
So far this year, Volkswagen has sold 4.97 million vehicles, outpacing GM, which sold 4.92 million vehicles.
Toyota expects to sell more than 10 million vehicles this year, a milestone in the industry.
GM had been the top-selling automaker for more than 70 years before losing the crown to Toyota in 2008. GM retook the top spot in 2011, when Toyota’s production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Toyota made a comeback in 2012, and seems to be on track to retain its title this year.