For the first quarter Toyota managed to keep its first place in global vehicle sales, outselling GM and VW.

Although it’s a tight race between the three automakers, Toyota managed to outsell its rivals during the first quarter selling 2.43 million units, compared with GM’s 2.36 million units and VW’s 2.27 million units. From January to March, Toyota’s sales dropped 2.2% compared with the same period last year, while GM increased 3.6% and VW went up 5.1%.

The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid managed to reclaim the no.1 place last year, after losing the position to GM in 2011, due to the natural disasters which hit Japan and Thailand affecting production. GM has kept the no.1 position for 70 years before losing it to Toyota in 2008. Toyota has also seen sales drop in China due to the territorial dispute between Japan and China, and although the situation has improved since September 2012 it will take some time until the company will get back to solid growth.

Toyota’s sales in China for Q1 fell 13% and in Japan 15%, but increased 7% in North America and in several Asian nations, where the automaker is relatively dominant. In 2012 Toyota sold 9.7 million vehicles, surpassing GM’s 9.29 million units and VW’s 9.1 million units.

“Rather than pursuing numbers, we try to sell one car at a time, producing good cars. We aren’t focused on being number one,” said company spokeswoman, Shino Yamada.



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