After losing its crown as the world’s largest automaker in 2011, Toyota looks to regain its position at the top of the heap, out-selling rivals General Motors and Volkswagen through the first quarter of this year.
With sales up 18 percent globally, Toyota moved 2.49 million vehicles, putting the Japanese auto giant just ahead of GM’s 2.28 million tally. Germany’s Volkswagen AG, which has said it will become number one on the list by 2018, currently sits third with 2.16 million units for the first three months of the year.
Toyota first claimed the top spot as the world’s largest automaker in 2008, aided by low sales for GM as it underwent bankruptcy protection. The Japanese automaker then managed to hold on to its number one position for the following two years before last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami significantly impacted production, dropping Toyota from first to third.
Along with restored production, Toyota is seeing improved sales as it begins to significantly revamp its lineup, rolling out a new version of it’s top selling Camry mid-size sedan, while also introducing new versions of the Prius hybrid like the Prius c and Prius v.