The world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corporation, reported a first-half year record as demand for its SUVs in the United States exceeded expectations.

The Japanese automaker, including its Hino Motors and Daihatsu divisions, posted a 3.8% rise in the first six months of the year, reaching worldwide deliveries of 5.1 million vehicles, a company statement revealed.

The Tokyo-based carmaker is deeply entrenched in a three-way battle with Germany’s Volkswagen AG and the US market leader General Motors. VW vowed to claim the top position by the end of the decade, after it managed to pass GM last year, securing the second place.

“They’ve gotten so good at building products that really hit with customers,” said Jim Press, a former US sales chief and 37-year Toyota veteran. “Contrast that to Volkswagen: they don’t have this market figured out. They’ve failed to succeed in North America because they don’t really understand it.”

Japan’s biggest listed company and the country’s largest employer has had a great six months stint in the US, where buyers have increasingly opted for the company’s sport utility vehicles, such as the Toyota Highlander or the Lexus GX. Actually, on the overall market, deliveries of SUVs are well on pace to exceed for the first time those of sedans.

Via Bloomberg


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