MOST CARS SOLD: Toyota has held on to its No.1 title as the world's most prolific automaker by selling more than 10-million cars in 2014. Image: Facebook
TOKYO, Japan - Toyota kept its title as the world's most prolific automaker on Wednesday as it announced record sales of 10.23-million vehicles through 2014, outpacing General Motors and VW, but a shaky outlook for 2015 could see it lose the crown to its German rival.
The worldwide annual sales figure beat VW, which logged 10.14-million sales, and US-based GM with 9.92-million.
Toyota also said sales would decline through 2015 year to an expected 10.15-million as demand fell in its home market. That will let VW take top spot with its sales momentum in emerging economies.
VW ON THE HEEL
"Their focus is not No.1," Peggy Furusaka, an auto-credit analyst at Moody's Investors Service, told Bloomberg News, referring to the Japanese firm. "Toyota is more concerned about keeping profitability than chasing numbers. So, for coming years, I wouldn't be surprised to see Toyota sell fewer cars than VW."
Toyota broke GM's decades-long reign as the world's top automaker in 2008 but lost the crown three years later as Japan's earthquake-tsunami disaster hammered production and disrupted supply chains. However, in 2012, it once again overtook GM, which sells Chevrolet and Cadillac, among other brands.
Toyota boosted its fiscal year through March profit forecast to the equivalent of R196.6-billion. But it earlier warned over a downturn in some other key Asian markets including Indonesia and Thailand, which has been hammered by political unrest.
There are also growing fears about the entire industry's prospects in China owing to concerns about the health of the world's No.2 economy.