Toyota pips General Motors, regains No 1 crown globally
The Japanese company sold about 300,000 more cars and trucks than GM did in the first half of the year, a lead large enough that it will be difficult for GM to catch Toyota in the final six months of 2012.
GM said it sold 4.67 million vehicles during the first half. Both companies released their numbers Wednesday. For Toyota Motor Corp., the numbers underline a powerful rebound from a period of dismal sales, and the resilience of its brand as it gains traction in new markets such as China and Southeast Asia while clawing back lost market share in the U.S.
Both companies have said in the past that they don't care about the global sales leadership and are focusing on making profits. But the crown is a matter of corporate pride for both automakers. GM doesn't plan to drop out of the race, though.
The company's sales and market share grew in China, and Chevrolet, its largest brand, has seen record growth for seven straight quarters, spokesman Jim Cain said. GM sales should rise because 70 percent of its U.S. models will be refurbished or all-new in the next two years, said Cain.