Toyota Motors maintained its status as world's top-selling car manufacturer in first quarter of this year, although the race with GM and VW is proving tight, as it sees less sales in China and Japan.
Company reported that it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the period of January-March, leaving United States auto giant GM at 2.36 million vehicles and German company VW AG at 2.27 million vehicles behind.
Toyota Motor's first quarter sales reduced 2.2% from last year while those for General Motors were up by 3.6% and VW jumped 5.1%.
Resurgence of anti-Japanese sentiment in China over tiny islands was the key factor for this situation. In fact, Chinese are worried about being seen driving a Japanese car. According to the company, situation is improving gradually but achieving solid growth again might take some time.
End of subsidies for green and eco-friendly cars in Japan hurt Toyota Motors sales in Japanese auto market. Previously, this relaxation provided boost to sales. In 2012, quarterly sales of Toyota Motors were down by 13% in China and down 15% in Japan.
Toyota Motors is heading back to North America, where sales were up by 7%, as well as in many Asian countries. Hostile conditions for the company in China is a sore point as General Motors and VW are going strong in that market
Japanese manufacturer of Prius hybrid and Camry reclaimed its crown as world's top car giant last year, after losing it to General Motors a year ago when tsunami and quake disasters hit northeastern Japan.
For seven decades, American car giant, General Motors continuously topped as No. 1 for before losing that title to Toyota in 2008.