Toyota Fights Back for the Title of World’s Largest Automaker

After ceding the title to General Motors last year, Toyota is set to reclaim the title of world’s largest automaker for 2012. As the year winds down, we find out that General Motors and Volkswagen will be battling for second place with the auto industry as a whole heading for a record year. In total for the year 2012, over 80 million cars and trucks will have been produced.

Toyota is out in front, while a gap of less than one percent separated GM and VW’s sales making the fight for second place way to close to call, meaning we won’t know second place until the final numbers are released in the new year.

As Volkswagen aims to become the global sales leader by 2018, the battle between the three automakers will continue into the future. LMC estimated that Volkswagen will add 600,000 units of production capacity next year, which will be more than GM and Toyota combined. However, Toyota won’t give up that easily as both the Japanese automaker and Volkswagen have forecasts to hit 10-million vehicles sold annually in the next several years.

The biggest factor in determining which automaker will continue to grow of course has to do with geography. Both VW and GM have a strong presence in China, which is continuing to lead all major markets in growth.

Holding on to the title of world’s largest automaker for 77 years, General Motors lost the title to Toyota in 2008. Toyota held onto it for several years before suffering from supply issues in 2011 after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.