Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM ) recently revealed that it achieved the production milestone of 150 million units in Japan on Dec 5, 2013. Moreover, the automaker also surpassed global production volume of 210 million units by the end of 2013.
The production milestone came close on the heels of the news that Toyota has retained its position as the leading automaker in terms of global sales volume in 2013. The Japanese automaker sold 9.98 million vehicles during the year, up 2% over 2012.
With this, Toyota surpassed General Motors Company ( GM ) and Volkswagen AG ( VLKAY ) that occupied the second and third positions, with sales volume of 9.71 million and 9.7 million vehicles, respectively. Toyota and General Motors have been competing for the spot of the leading global automaker for long.
General Motors enjoyed a 70-year long reign as the largest selling automaker till 2008, when the mantle was taken over by Toyota. The latter retained the lead for the next two years but lost significant market share in 2011 due to product recalls in the U.S. and problems with parts suppliers because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
As a result, General Motors took the lead in 2011, followed by Volkswagen. However, Toyota surpassed General Motors and Volkswagen to become the largest-selling automaker again in 2012 and has duly retained the crown in 2013 due to strong demand in both the Japanese and international markets.
Toyota sold 2.3 million units in Japan in 2013, down 5% over 2012. However, overseas sales surged 5% to reach 7.69 million units.
However, despite being the largest selling automaker globally, Toyota came third in terms of U.S. sales in 2013. General Motors was the leading automaker in the U.S. with annual sales of 2.8 million units. Ford Motor Co. ( F ) came second with 2.5 million units, while Toyota registered sales of 2.2 million units.
Toyota projects global sales volume of 10.3 million units in 2014, up 4% over 2013. If the company attains this forecast, it will become the first automaker to surpass the 10-million mark.
Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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