Washington: Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker, by selling 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, and it is still counting.
GM, which sold 9.29 million cars in 2012, was the top-selling carmaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008, reports the Washington Post.
Both companies saw higher sales, but Toyota's growth was far larger as it rolled out new versions of popular models like the Camry. GM executives promised sales growth this year, especially in the US.
Both companies say publicly that they don't care about who wins, but concede that the crown is an important morale booster for employees.
GM had retaken the sales crown in 2011 when Toyota's factories were slowed by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. However, Toyota's comeback from the earthquake, and flooding in Thailand, is only part of the story, according to Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, a Detroit-area industry forecasting firm.
Schuster expects Toyota to keep the lead over GM this year as it launches a new Corolla compact later this year.
Toyota builds 70 percent of the cars it sells in the U.S. in North America, including the Corolla.
GM is also contending with a stronger Volkswagen. It narrowly edged out the fast-growing German company for second place in 2012. VW sold record 9.1 million vehicles.