Toyota Speeds Ahead of GM and VW

Toyota Motor Corp sold more than 10 million vehicles globally in fiscal 2013, far outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen.

The Japanese carmaker’s global sales increased by 4.5 percent from the previous year to a total of 10.133 million units, becoming the world’s first automaker to do so.

It sold a record 2.58 million vehicles in the January-March period, surpassing Detroit-based GM at 2.42 million and Germany’s Volkswagen at 2.4 million.

Driven by rising demand in North America and China, Toyota posted 9.054 million not including sales of its subsidiaries, Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd which logged 913,000 units and 166,000 units respectively.

Domestic sales boomed thanks to the spending rush ahead of the consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent in April.

Toyota’s domestic sales finished first last yar with a record 9.97 million vehicle sales. The 2013 fiscal year have been the company’s most profitable as Toyota projects a record 1.9 trillion yen profit ($18.5 billion).

“We expect Toyota to hold the No. 1 title in the industry until 2016 or 2017,” said Masatoshi Nishimoto, an analyst at IHS automotive in Tokyo. “For Toyota to maintain the title beyond that, they may need to grow more in China.”

It wasn’t all smooth driving for Toyota. The company underwent a massive recall crisis in 2009-2010 for safety defects that led to a payout of $1.2 billion fine for misleading consumers. Just this month Toyota recalled more than 6 million vehicles to fix a range of safety defects in one of the biggest recall announcements.

Toyota also agreed last year to pay more than $1 billion to car owners who claimed to have suffered economic losses because of the massive recall.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: “On the production line” by Toyota UK/Flickr

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