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Toyota takes title of World's Largest Automaker... again, for now

Posted May 11th 2012 10:00AM

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Now that the title of world's largest maker has become a clear and eager battle, we can expect more regular updates on the progress of the combatants. Bloomberg reports that Toyota snagged the #1 crown in Q1, taking it away from General Motors with 2.49 million units sold across its five brands compared to 2.28 million for GM. Volkswagen was just another tenth down at 2.19 million units sold.

What all three might appreciate even more than the crown – except for VW, who is monomaniacal about the No. 1 tag – is that sales volumes and profitability are up, at least in North America. Toyota's sales rebound from the catastrophes of last year (and indeed, the last few years) is being underlined by its much improved performance, where the Prius Plug-In is out-selling the competition. Even with double its usual fleet sales in Q1, Toyota expects this financial year's profits to double.

The year isn't over yet and it remains close, but for now it looks like there'll be good news for everyone. Well, until 2016, when Volkswagen is predicted to vanquish all challengers at the top of the podium, two years ahead of its own ridiculously ambitious schedule.

Related Gallery2012 Toyota Prius V

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Chris Shunk / AOL

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Glenn Laycock

Funny how "Fleet Sales" used to be Toyota's favorite jibe at Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Now it is there bread and butter. Just like GM etc -- the price you pay for doing that is falling residuals.

May 12 2012 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply