Make us your home page
Instagram

Toyota edges out GM in vehicle sales

TOKYO — Toyota has bounced back from safety recalls and natural disasters, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally in the first half of 2012 to retake its crown as the world's top automaker from General Motors.

The Japanese company sold about 300,000 more cars and trucks than GM did in the first half of the year, a lead large enough to make it difficult for GM to catch Toyota in the year's final six months.

GM said it sold 4.67 million vehicles during the first half. Both companies released their numbers Wednesday.

For Toyota, the numbers underline a powerful rebound from a period of dismal sales and the resilience of its brand as it gains traction in new markets such as China and Southeast Asia while clawing back lost U.S. market share.

Both companies have said in the past that they don't care about being the global sales leader and are focused on making profits. But the crown is a matter of corporate pride for both automakers.

GM doesn't plan to drop out of the race, though. The company's sales and market share grew in China, and Chevrolet, its largest brand, has seen record growth for seven straight quarters, spokesman Jim Cain said.

"We are in the early days of the most aggressive rollout of new products in our history, which will help us press our advantage in the U.S. and China and grow profitably around the world," he said, declining to comment on whether the company expects to pass Toyota in the second half.

Toyota's production was hit by the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan last year and then by flooding in Thailand, an important production base for the automaker. Before those disasters, its sales were dented by massive U.S. safety recalls, totaling more than 14 million vehicles since the quality control problems emerged three years ago.

But the company's factories and sales recovered faster than expected, making it very hard for GM to catch Toyota between now and the end of the year, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at the LMC Automotive consulting firm in Troy, Mich.

Also, GM has a bigger presence than Toyota does in Europe, where auto sales have fallen dramatically, and in China, where the economy is starting to slow, Schuster said.

Volkswagen was in third place in the global sales race. The company said this month that it sold 4.45 million vehicles in the first half. It came in second after GM in global vehicle sales last year.

Toyota edges out GM in vehicle sales 07/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Do you want Walmart in your home when you're not?

    Retail

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.
[ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times file photo]

  2. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]
  3. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.