Toyota remained the top-selling automaker for a second year in a row, outselling American rival General Motors by roughly 270,000 vehicles in 2013.
Worldwide vehicle sales at Toyota rose 2.4 percent to 9.98 million units last year, the Japan-based automaker said in a statement yesterday. GM sold 9.71 million cars and trucks worldwide last year, outselling Volkswagen at 9.5 million.
The Japanese automaker has made an impressive comeback from tough times in recent years, including a massive recall in the U.S involving more than 14 million vehicles for sticky gas pedals, faulty floor mats, and other manufacture defects spanning several years from 2009. In 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of northeastern Japan, damaging auto suppliers and halting production in many assembly plants.
Toyota has now predicted that it will increase sales in 2014 to 10.32 million – which would make Toyota the first automaker ever to surpass 10 million global sales.
Competition however, is starting to intensify. While Toyota outsold GM by about 460,000 units in 2012, this year, the gap has narrowed to about 270,000 units. General Motors is expected to bring out at least 14 new or updated vehicles in the U.S. this year — after 18 models last year — as the company transforms its lineup into one of the freshest and most updated in the industry.
Volkswagen, now number one in China, announced plans at the Detroit auto show this month to spend more than $7 billion during the next five years in North America and has set as a goal to become the best-selling automaker in the world by 2018.
It appears that 2014 will certainly be another interesting year for Toyota as U.S and German rivals continue to fight for the #1 spot.