Toyota has announced it sold 10.23 million vehicles in 2014, a 2.5 percent gain on the 9.98 million it sold the previous year and the first 10-million-plus annual sales figure for the Japanese giant. Importantly, Toyota’s tally, which includes sales from the Scion, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands, makes it the world’s biggest automaker in 2014, though the Volkswagen Group is catching up fast.

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Sales of the German giant’s various brands totaled 10.14 million vehicles in 2014, which was up 4.2 percent on the 9.73 million sold the previous year. Like Toyota, this was also the first time that VW’s sales totaled more than 10 million units in a single year, a target the automaker didn’t expect to hit until 2018.

In third place was General Motors Company [NYSE:GM], which also posted record sales. Its tally for 2014 came in at 9.92 million vehicles, a 2 percent rise on the 9.7 million sales in the previous year.

Record figures for all three automakers are a sign of booming demand for new cars all across the globe. However, the momentum is expected to slow in 2015 and already Toyota is forecasting lower sales figures for the coming period.

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Toyota has confirmed that it expects sales to fall 1 percent to 10.15 million in 2015, due mostly to falling demand in its home market of Japan. The last time Toyota’s sales fell was in 2011, when the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster caused major disruptions. Both VW and GM are yet to announce projections for 2015.

The U.S. remained Toyota’s biggest market, with its sales here totaling 2.37 million vehicles. For VW and GM it was China were most sales were recorded, with VW selling 3.68 million vehicles in the country and GM selling 3.54 million.


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