For the second consecutive year, Toyota is the No.1 automaker in the world, followed by General Motors and Volkswagen.
In 2013, Toyota sold 9.98 million units across the globe while GM and VW moved 9.71 million and around 9.7 million units respectively. For 2014, the No. 1 automaker aims to break past 10 million units sold with a goal of 10.32 million by the end of the year, a 4 percent increase over last year’s total.
While Toyota originally predicted in 2007 that they would move 10.4 million units by 2009, the path to 10 million sold was hampered by the combination of the Great Recession, rapid changes in corporate culture, unintentional acceleration recalls, and the 2011 Tōhoku-Fukushima disaster.
Previously, Toyota held the No. 1 title from 2008 to 2010, briefly losing in 2011 to General Motors — who lost said title to Toyota in 2008 after holding it for 80 years — before reclaiming the crown in 2012 by 451,000 units. Overall sales between the two automakers in 2013 rose 4 percent for GM, 2 percent for Toyota.
Though the automaker’s president Akio Toyoda may be happy with the news and the potential to move past the 10-million mark, volume is not a motivating factor in his overall strategy. Instead, building ever-better vehicles and changes to how they are built, such as Toyota’s new Toyota New Global Architecture modular production system, are the main focus for the No. 1 global automaker.