Toyota is set to reclaim the title of world’s largest automaker in 2012 after ceding the title to General Motors last year.
General Motors and Volkswagen will be battling for second place as the year winds down, with the auto industry as a whole heading for a record year. In total, over 80 million cars and trucks will have been produced in 2012.
While final numbers won’t be in until the new year, Toyota is out in front while gap of less than one percent separates GM and VW’s sales, making the fight for second place too close to call.
The battle between the three automakers will continue into the future, as Volkswagen aims to become the global sales leader by 2018. LMC Automotive estimates that the German automaker will add 600,000 units of production capacity next year, which will be more than GM and Toyota combined. Toyota won’t give up easily however, as both the Japanese automaker and Volkswagen have forecasts to hit 10-million vehicles sold annually in the next several years.
Of course the biggest factor in determining which automaker will continue to grow has to do with geography. China is continuing to lead all major markets in growth, where both VW and GM have a strong presence.
After a 77 year reign as the world’s largest automaker, General Motors handed the title over to Toyota in 2008, which managed to hold on for several years before suffering from supply issues in 2011 after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
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[Source: Automotive News]