Toyota crowned world's biggest automaker for third year
Japan Times -- Jan 21
Toyota Motor Corp. warded off Volkswagen AG to remain the world's top-selling automaker for a third consecutive year, driven by record U.S. deliveries of its SUVs, according to the 2014 tally announced by the company Wednesday.

Worldwide sales for Toyota, including its Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. units, climbed 3 percent to 10.23 million vehicles last year, according to a company statement. Volkswagen last week reported a 4.2 percent gain to 10.14 million vehicles, including its two heavy-truck units. General Motors Co. followed with 9.92 million sales, up 2.1 percent.

Surging demand for sport-utility vehicles including the compact RAV4 and mid-size Highlander paced Toyota's U.S. market share gain last year, spurring plans to boost local production and exports from Japan in 2015. As Volkswagen and GM add factories to bolster their already-dominant position in China, President Akio Toyoda's strategy to forgo building new car plants until at least next year could result in the first shake-up in auto-sales leadership since 2011.

"Their focus is not No. 1," said Peggy Furusaka, a Tokyo-based auto-credit analyst at Moody's Investors Service. "Toyota is more concerned about keeping profitability than chasing numbers. So for coming years, I wouldn't be surprised to see Toyota selling fewer cars than VW."

Toyota forecasts a 1 percent decline in annual sales to 10.15 million vehicles in 2015, the Toyota city, Aichi Prefecture-based carmaker said in a statement Wednesday. Volkswagen and GM have not announced projections for this year.

トヨタが3年連続で世界トップです。 トヨタ自動車が去年1年間に世界で販売した新車台数は、前の年を2.5%上回る102­3万台で、過去最高となりました。年間で1000万台を超えるのは初めてです。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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