Toyota sold a record number of 9.98 million vehicles in 2013, according to the company’s report on Thursday. The Japanese firm outpaced its competitors General Motors and Volkswagen and maintained its title of world’s No. 1 automaker.
The company’s best-ever annual sales were caused by a weaker yen and by extremely successful sales in the United States and China. It is a sign that Toyota is recovering from a series of damaging safety recalls and Japan’s 2011 quake-tsunami disaster, the international press comments.
The United States-based carmaker General Motors sold 9.71 million cars in 2013, while Germany’s Volkswagen reported 9.5 million vehicles sold last year.
Toyota said that in 2014 it is expecting to sell more than 10 million cars, as the company has overseas demand.
Toyota outpaced its other competitors’ sales level due to a “comprehensive edge” in product lineup, sales network and cost structure, said SMBC Nikko Securities auto analyst Shotaro Noguchi.
“They have maintained that balance well, compared to its rivals,” he said.
“Toyota should have reached the 10 million mark sooner if they had not faced major negative factors like the impact of the quake disaster and flooding in Thailand.”
But “if they only pay attention to production and sales figures, they could lose their competitive edge and wind up in trouble,” Noguchi warned.