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2013-01-11 09:03

THE POPULAR KID IN SCHOOL: The Toyota Camry sales figures for 2012 have made it the most popular car in the U.S. for the 11th consecutive year.

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CHICAGO, Michigan - Toyota has set records for vehicle production, sales and vehicle launches in the US and has "strong momentum" going into 2013.

Toyota forecast that its North American sales would grow by about 100 000 through 2012 to more than 2.15-million. The automaker assembled 1.78-million vehicles in its 14 North American manufacturing plants in 2012, 600,000 more than the previous record set in 2007.

Production was also up 41% from 2011 when its supply chain was shattered by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Jim Lentz, head of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said: "Toyota achieved a number of important milestones in 2012. As we continue with the most aggressive product launch in our history, we're confident this momentum will continue in the year ahead."

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Toyota has invested $1.5-million in its regional facilities over the past 13 months and brought its newest plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, up to full operation.

It also celebrated a milestone of 25-million vehicles built in the region since the first Toyota rolled off a US assembly line about 30 years ago.

Sales topped two-million vehicles in the US to take 4.4% of the market as Toyota launched 19 new or significantly updated models. Nine will be introduced through 2013.

The Toyota Division also claimed the title of top retail brand in the US as sales grew 27% in 2012, although GM and Ford had greater volumes overall thanks to sales to government and business fleets.

Meanwhile, the Toyota Camry held its position as the best-selling car in the US for the 11th consecutive year with sales of more than 400 000 units.


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