Toyota has pushed ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen as the world's largest automaker in the first half of 2012.
According to a new Bloomberg report, the 4.9 million units sold by the Japanese automaker in the first six months of 2012 represents an impressive 34-percent jump. Toyota's sales beat out GM by 300,000 units and VW by 520,000.
Still, The General's sales were up 2.9 percent to 4.67 million vehicles sold, while Volkswagen moved 4.45 units, an 8.9 percent increase. While Toyota has enjoyed success in its top markets, North America and Japan, GM and VW have struggled with the economic crisis in Europe.
The Japanese automaker was able to accomplish this even in the wake of the disastrous tsunami in its home market and flooding that occurred in Thailand. According to IHS Automotive market analyst Rebecca Lindland, the strong start may be followed by a downturn in momentum: "they are still restocking dealerships, pulling in consumers who may have waited... but that positive impact will trail off as the year progresses."
Toyota previously took the top spot as the largest global automaker from GM back in 2008 amidst the American financial crisis, but General Motors reclaimed that title in the wake of Japan's natural disasters.