Japan’s Toyota Motor, after the first three months of the year, managed to remain the world’s largest automaker, ahead of Germany’s Volkswagen AG and America’s General Motors.

The feat was achieved even as the automaker registered a declining sales trend, with deliveries sliding 2.5 percent to 2.52 million units for the January-to-March period, according to a recent statement issued by the Japanese firm. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group worldwide sales soared to 2.49 million and General Motors also advanced to 2.42 million, according to data coming earlier from the two rivaling carmakers. Toyota registered market share increases in the United States, thanks to surging demand for its lineup of sport utility models, including the RAV4 and the new Lexus NX. Meanwhile, Volkswagen still ahs trouble nailing the US market and also forecasted a slower growth pace than the overall market back in China – the best-selling foreign automakers is handicapped by its lack of models in the rapidly developing entry-level SUV segment. Last year the two automakers were separated by less than 100,000 units, with Toyota remaining in first place for the third consecutive year.

SUVs remained one of the Toyota assets across the rising US market in the period, with overall deliveries jumping by 10 percent. The company’s best-selling model in the category, the RAV4 saw sales jump 26 and the luxury brand’s new NX compact offering is surging past similar models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

By comparison, Volkswagen aimed to surpass its Japanese competitor by bolstering its dominant position on the Chinese market, the largest in the world, by increasing its local production base. VW kept its position as the top selling foreign carmaker, but first quarter sales dropped 0.6 percent as Chinese-branded SUVs jumped across the sales charts.

Via Bloomberg


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