Following sales results for the first quarter of this year, Toyota has quickly regained its number one global sales position over General Motors, selling 2.49 million vehicles versus 2.28 million.
Volkswagen AG was a close runner up with 2.16 million, and is also vying to take the title Toyota previously held from 2008-2010 as GM went through bankruptcy restructuring.
Following the natural disasters in Japan last March, Toyota and other Japanese automakers were significantly set back, but this week Toyota has shown itself the strongest in coming back projecting its profits to more than double to a five-year high.
“They have a new sense of competitiveness and they certainly are bringing their volume back,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive in Troy, Michigan.
“They have some new product around the world that’s helping, with the new Camry and the Prius family.”
Schuster said he believes Toyota, GM and Volkswagen will stay in a close race for years to come at the global level.
In addition to familiar Toyota, Lexus and Scion name plates, Toyota’s global sales were also pulled up by its Hino and Daihatsu brands.
“Although being No. 1 is not the main goal for us, it’s nice to see because hopefully it shows we’re on the right track,” said Jim Wiseman, Toyota’s North American vice president of external affairs. “With customers reacting so positively to all of the new and updated products we’re introducing this year, we’re optimistic the good momentum will continue.”