TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. bounced back from safety recalls and natural disasters, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally in the first half of the year to retake its crown as the world's top automaker from General Motors Co.
The Japanese company sold about 300,000 more cars and trucks than GM did in the first half of 2012, a lead large enough to make it tough for GM to catch Toyota in the year's final six months. GM said it sold 4.67 million vehicles in the first half. Both automakers released their numbers Wednesday.
For Toyota, the numbers underline a powerful rebound from dismal sales, and the resilience of its brand as it gains traction in markets such as China and Southeast Asia while clawing back lost market share in the United States.