Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation has managed to ward off the rising threat coming from Germany’s Volkswagen AG and secured the global annual sales crown for its third consecutive year, buoyed by record US deliveries.
According to a company statement, global sales of Toyota, including its subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. modestly increased by 3% to 10.23 million units in 2014 – enough to fend off Volkswagen’s last week reported 4.2 percent rise to 10.14 million autos – though the Germans did include an unspecified number of vehicles from the two heavy-truck divisions. America’s biggest automaker, General Motors, remained third with sales soaring 2.1% to 9.92 million vehicles. Toyota’s record market share gain in the US was coming from surging demand for sport-utility vehicle such as the compact RAV4 and mid-size Highlander – prompting plans for increased local output capacity of the models in 2015, coupled with more exports coming from Japan.
Analysts today see President Akio Toyoda’s strategy to impose a factory-building freeze as a strategy to keep up profitability and they also forecast that in the coming years Volkswagen might surge past Toyota to become the world’s largest carmaker. Volkswagen and GM are both adding output capacity in China especially to assert their current dominant position on the world’s biggest auto market. Additionally, the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker Toyota also predicted that 2015 sales could be slightly lower than in 2014, sliding 1% to 10.15 million vehicles. So far, its runner-ups have not engaged in delivery forecasts for the current year.