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Toyota wins back top global sales spot from GM

Toyota's Corolla Fielder (L) and Corolla Axio are reflected in a Toyota Forte's logo at the company's headquarters in Tokyo November 5, 2012.

© Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp. regained the crown as the world's top selling auto maker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG.

Toyota said on Monday it sold 9.75 million vehicles group-wide around the world last year, a record for the 75-year-old Japanese auto maker and up 22.6 per cent from a year ago.

The result was in line with the company's December forecast, and put it back in the No. 1 spot, which it lost in 2011 when it was hit by a wave of negative publicity after a recall crisis in the United States, and a disrupted supply chain following an earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand.

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Toyota held the global sales crown from 2008 through 2010, but fell to third place in 2011 behind GM and Volkswagen.

GM sold 9.28 million vehicles in 2012, up 2.9 per cent from a year ago, while Volkswagen sold 9.07 million vehicles, up 11.2 per cent.

Toyota aims to sell 9.91 million vehicles group-wide globally in 2013, up 1.6 per cent from 2012.

The Toyota group also includes sales at Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd. Toyota-only sales hit a record-high 8.72 million vehicles, up 22.8 per cent on a year ago.

Toyota's domestic rival Nissan Motor Co. said on Monday it sold a record 4.94 million vehicles globally in 2012, while Honda Motor Co. sold 3.82 million vehicles, up 19 per cent.

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