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Toyota sells 2.52 mn cars, pips GM & VW for top world place

Toyota Motor Corp. is still at the top in global vehicle sales after the first quarter, selling 2.52 million vehicles around the world, outpacing rivals Volkswagen and General Motors even as weakness in Japan dragged on its growth.

The Japanese automaker has been the world’s top-selling automaker for the past three years. No. 2 Volkswagen Group of Germany reported last week that it sold 2.49 million vehicles for the January-March period. Volkswagen edged out US automaker General Motors Co., which reported global sales of 2.4 million vehicles earlier this week.

Toyota’s global vehicle sales, according to the number released today, were down 2 percent from a year earlier, as vehicle sales in Japan lagged. Volkswagen’s sales were up 1.8 percent year-on-year, while GM’s were up 1.9 percent. The race among the three automakers is intense, playing out worldwide, including relatively new markets such as India and China, although each of them emphasize that the real competition is about coming out with good products, not beating rivals. 
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