Toyota Motor Manufacturing sold a record 9.75 million vehicles last year, according to an official tally released Monday, roaring past General Motors and Volkswagen to reclaim its title as the world’s top automaker in 2012.
The Japanese automaker which opened a Corolla plant in Mississippi’s Blue Springs in 2011 had a 27 percent increase in U.S. sales in last year, the New York Times reports.
General Motors, which held the top spot in 2011, mustered 9.29 million vehicles in global sales last year. The U.S. company had been the top-selling automaker for decades before losing its lead to Toyota in 2008.
A sharp slowdown in exports during the global economic crisis led to Toyota’s biggest loss in decades, while controversy over its handling of recalls greatly tarnished its image for quality and reliability.
In 2011, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as widespread flooding in Thailand later that year, severely disrupted production, weighing on sales in important markets like the United States and pushing Toyota to No. 3 in global sales.
Toyota had a bumper year in 2012, however, as production rebounded and the automaker went on an offensive to win back market share. Toyota sales in the United States surged 27 percent, to 2.08 million vehicles. In Japan, sales rose 35 percent, to 2.41 million units, helped by government incentives for fuel-efficient cars.
Read the New York Times story.