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Auto Industry

Toyota defends title as world's car sales champion

Japanese carmaker Toyota has been able to keep its title as the world's biggest auto maker despite fierce competition from its US and German rivals. The company sold almost 10 million units in 2013.

Toyota reported Thursday it sold 9.98 million cars throughout last year, enabling the Japanese automaker to keep its position as the world's largest car producer.

The company announced it logged its highest-ever annual sales volume as the carmaker recovered from a series of safety recalls and Japan's 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.

Toyota was able to leave behind runner-up General Motors (GM) from the US which said it sold 9.71 million units in 2013.

Weaker yen, stronger exports

Motion powered steering in Tokyo

Ending up in third position was Germany's Volkswagen which sold 9.5 million vehicles, not counting trucks made by its subsidiaries MAN and Scania.

Toyota broke GM's decades-long reign back in 2008, but lost its crown three years later as natural disasters impacted production and disrupted supply chains. But the Japanese carmaker regained the No.1 spot in 2012 and now looks poised to hold on to it for a longer period.

The maker of the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid said Thursday it expected to become the first carmaker to ever break the 10-million barrier this year.

In the current fiscal year ending in March, Toyota said it would log a net profit of $16.02 billion (11.83 billion euros) not least due to a sharply weaker yen and improving sales in North America.

hg/hc (Reuters, AFP)

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