Toyota, the Japanese automaker, has once again taken over the top spot as the largest automaker in the world. Toyota lost that distinction in 2011 to General Motors, but in 2012 sold more than 9.75 million autos to set a new record. The car industry throughout Japan has seen a strong rebound over the past 12 months.
Japanese auto industry sales were up 22% for 2012 helping Toyota win back the title as largest automaker in the world from GM. Toyota has lost that distinction after their were supply disruptions both in Thailand and Japan as well as problems with recalls the company faced in the U.S. market.
In addition to the record year for Toyota, both Honda and fellow Japanese automaker Nissan also enjoyed record sales during 2012. Honda saw its sales spike by 19% to 3.8 million units, while Nissan’s sales were up over 6% to 4.9 million.
The 2012 performance by the three big automakers in Japan was a complete turnaround from 2011 when the country was hit by the devastating earthquake and a subsequent tsunami along the northern coast. Because of that tragedy that also caused problems in the nuclear power industry and the economy, sales in the country for the auto industry crashed.
What is even more incredible for the Japanese auto industry is that their record sales came at a time when the country has experienced tensions and political problems with China due to both countries claiming ownership in a group of islands. The problem caused massive protests against the Japanese in China as well as a call in China to boycott all Japanese products.