Toyota is expected to take back its place as the No.1 automaker in the world by the end of this year, after it reached the third place in 2011.
Toyota managed to quickly rebound from the natural disasters which hit Japan and Thailand in 2011, causing severe production disruptions. For 2012, Toyota reached robust sales in North America and Southeast Asia, and is expected to reach a record 9.7 million vehicles sold by the end of this year, surpassing GM and VW.
Last Friday, December 21st, Toyota said that during the first eleven months of the year it sold 8.93 million vehicles (including Daihatsu and Hino sales), up 24.3% compared with the same period last year.
Toyota itself sold 7.97 million vehicles, an increase of 24.5%, while Lexus sold 428,000 vehicles, up 19.7%. But the automaker might not reach its 500,000-units target for this year due to decreased demand in China.
Even if Toyota’s rivals, GM and VW managed to boost their sales in China, where Toyota and the other Japanese automakers were hit by the anti-Japanese protests beginning with September, the European debt crisis weighed on them. On Thursday, December 20th, Toyota celebrated its 500,000th full hybrid vehicle delivered in Europe, a silver Yaris Hybrid manufactured in Valenciennes, France.