Japanese carmaker Toyota has been able to further boost its sales globally. It posted the best half-year figures ever, with demand in the domestic market boosted before a tax hike came into effect.
The Toyota group, including Daihatsu and Hino Motors, sold nearly 5.1 million vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2014, the company reported Wednesday.
The figure marked a 3.8-percent increase from sales levels reached in the same period a year earlier and set a new in-house record for the January to June period.
The world's largest auto maker said it was able to shift 1.27 million units in North America, its largest market.
But Toyota spokesman Naoki Sumino pointed out the sales hike was by no means limited to the US and Canada.
Sales in China jumped by 11.8 percent in the period under review, with almost half a million units sold in the Asian country. The carmaker's European market grew by 8 percent, Sumino added. Domestic demand increased particularly in the period before a sales tax hike in Japan in April.
But even with a new half-year sales record in the books, Toyota was not able to pull clear of German rival Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg-based company kept breathing down the Japanese carmaker's neck by selling 4.97 million units in the first half of 2014, not including Scania and MAN trucks.
hg/ng (Reuters, dpa, AFP)