Today, the official 2014 global sales figures were released, and for the third year in a row, Japanese juggernaut Toyota is on pace to take the top spot.
In a financial statement released by Toyota, the world’s most prolific auto company announced that they have sold 5.097 million vehicles (up approximately 4% from 2013) so far this year, which puts them at the top of the global list.
The spike in sales was not just homegrown, either. Toyota’s increase happened worldwide, including:
- A 12% rise in sales in China
- An 8% rise in sales in Europe
- A 5% rise in sales in North America
Before the numbers were officially announced on Wednesday, many prognosticators were discussing a potential Volkswagen surge to the number one spot.
Late Tuesday, Reuters even published an article stating, “Volkswagen is poised to overtake Toyota Motor Corp as the Global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China- the world’s biggest auto market- while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality.”
This speculation was quickly squashed on Wednesday, though. According to the official report, Toyota outsold Volkswagen by about 200,000 vehicles.
Jim Press, a 37 year veteran of Toyota and former U.S. sales chief says, “[Toyota has] gotten so good at building products that really hit with customers. Contrast that to Volkswagen: they don’t have this market figured out. They’ve failed to succeed in North America because they don’t really understand it.”
Over the past 5 years, Toyota has held the title as the top selling automaker five times, with their only loss coming in 2011 when Japan was devastated by the epic earthquake and Tsunami. Prior to that, GM had held the title as the top-selling manufacturer for more than seven decades.
Despite the success, Toyota has declined comment on being number one. Instead Toyota officials said to the Associated Press that they are “merely trying to satisfy customers, one car at a time, and not competing to be at the top.”