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Toyota retakes global auto sales crown from GM

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:30 pm

DETROIT – Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling automaker.

The Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, and it's still counting. GM sold 9.29 million.

Both companies saw higher sales, but Toyota's growth was far larger as it rolled out new versions of popular models like the Camry. GM executives promised sales growth this year, especially in the U.S. Both companies say publicly that they don't care about who wins but concede that the crown is an important morale booster for employees.

GM was the top-selling carmaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008. But GM retook the sales crown in 2011 when Toyota's factories were slowed by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The disaster left Toyota dealers with few cars to sell. The company has since recovered.