When it comes to global vehicle deliveries, the term "Big Three" doesn't apply to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, but instead Toyota, GM and Volkswagen - in that order - through the third quarter of 2013. Toyota sold 7.41-million vehicles through the third quarter and is on track to deliver more vehicles this year than GM and VW, which sold 7.25-million and 7.03-million, respectively, through the same period, Bloomberg reports.

During the third quarter, from July to September, Toyota's 2.5-million deliveries helped to push it higher than its closest competitors this year. In that period, GM delivered 2.4-million vehicles while VW posted 2.33-million deliveries.

Part of the reason behind Toyota's and other Japanese automakers resurgence globally is the weakened yen, which can be attributed to policies made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since he took office in December 2012. Many refer to those monetary easing policies as 'Abenomics,' which has led some, such as Ford, to call Japan a currency manipulator and is a big reason why the US is lobbying to oppose Japan's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Because the yen is weakened, Yuuki Sakurai, president of Fukoku Capital Management Inc., reportedly says, "The selling prices of some Japanese cars in the US have been lowered to make them more competitive."

In the US, at least, GM did out-deliver Toyota in the third quarter. It delivered 697,113 vehicles to Toyota's 586,016, but that was enough for the Japanese automaker to grow 12 percent in the US and beat Ford for the first time in 15 quarters.

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