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Toyota likely to fall from top spot in global auto sales

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker in terms of sales for the past four years, was outperformed by Volkswagen AG in the 11 months through November.

Unless Toyota has a remarkable December, it will lost it’s No. 1 status.

In the 11-month period, worldwide sales for Toyota group brands rose 0.1 percent from a year earlier to 9.219 million units, while those of the German automaker increased 3.1 percent to 9.379 million units.

Volkswagen’s sales increased significantly in the Chinese market, while those of Toyota dipped slightly in the United States, one of its main markets.

In November alone, Toyota’s group sales grew 2.2 percent from a year earlier to 873,000 units, backed by strong sales of its Prius hybrid cars in Japan and Europe, while Volkswagen’s sales jumped 7.9 percent to 899,000 units, boosted by a 13.6 percent surge in the Chinese market.

Toyota’s domestic production grew 2.2 percent in November from a year earlier to 275,000 units, while its production outside Japan swelled 10.1 percent to 538,000 units and its exports fell 2.4 percent to 159,000 units.