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Business

Toyota recaptures sales crown from General Motors

Japanese carmaker Toyota has reported a surge in sales which has put it ahead of US rival General Motors again. The company has profited from strong demand in the US, offsetting weak European markets.

Toyota on Monday reported record sales throughout 2012 on the back of a pick-up in demand in several regions of the world.

The Japanese car giant said sales last year soared by 22.6 percent to 9.75 million vehicles, with enough units leaving showrooms globally to regain the title of the world's largest car seller from General Motors in the US and with Germany's Volkswagen coming in third.

Toyota was thus able to fully recover from a disastrous 2011 when the Japanese earthquake-tsunami disaster hurt the firm's revenues.

Strong despite uncertainties

The carmaker stated that its regained strength last year was primarily the result of stronger demand across Asia and North America.

Revenues posted there helped offset much weaker demand in Europe and the effects of Japan's diplomatic spat with China over some East China Sea islands which resulted in a consumer boycott of Japanese goods.

While all Japanese carmakers suffered from a strong yen and uncertainty in Europe, Toyota fared better than its domestic rivals due to cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in costs, including labor and research and development.

hg/pfd (dpa, AFP)