Toyota’s Third Quarter Sales Outpaced GM, Volkswagen

Toyota Motor Company saw its global sales increase by 18 percent last quarter. According to company spokeswoman Yurika Motoyoshi, the company sold 2.43 million cars and light trucks during the third quarter and increased its global sales lead over General Motors Company. The automaker credits high demand for the Prius hybrid and Camry sedan for much of the gains.

Toyota’s global sales for the first nine months, including sales by its subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Company, increased 28 percent to 7.4 million units.  Toyota hopes to sell 9.76 million vehicles by year’s end. GM sold 6.95 million vehicles during the same period according to the company’s spokesman Jim Cain.

AutoPacific Inc. analyst Ed Kim says Toyota’s resurgence, so soon after the unintended acceleration recalls and the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is unexpected.  “Thinking back to the start of the year, I didn’t expect Toyota to recover as quickly as it has,” he said. “Toyota has such a huge and massive owner base that keeps coming back for more and more. That was underestimated.”

To build on the momentum, Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda plans to launch 19 new models this year.  The company is also focusing on the U.S. market to make up for declining sales in China where sales fell by 49 percent last month. Sales of Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles in the U.S. reached 525,328 in the third quarter, up 38 percent.  Toyota is on track to sell about 2 million vehicles in the U.S. this year.

Sales of Toyota and Lexus vehicles increased 13 percent to 206,643 units during the third quarter. Sales of the Yaris compact model were up considerably.

GM’s domestic light-vehicle sales increased 1.8 percent to 652,002 during the third quarter as its market share fell to 18.1 percent, down from 20 percent.

Volkswagen AG’s global sales increased 11 percent during the first three quarters to 6.9 million units. The automaker’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has been very vocal about his goal of supplanting Toyota as the world’s largest automaker by 2018.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, industry-wide auto sales fell 9.2 percent to 2.83 million vehicles during the third quarter.

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