In 2011, some two years after it went into bankruptcy, General Motors managed to recoup the top spot as the world's largest automaker, no thanks to Toyota's production problems that stemmed from the tsunami and other natural disasters that hit Asia last year.
Now, with Toyota having solved most of its problems, the Japanese carmaker is on pace to reclaim its sales crown. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Toyota Group, which includes the Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Hino and Daihatsu brands, saw its global sales rise 18 percent to 2.49 million units in the first quarter of 2012.
This places Toyota ahead of General Motors, which recorded worldwide sales of 2.28 million during the same period.
"Although being No. 1 is not the main goal for us, it’s nice to see because hopefully it shows we’re on the right track," Jim Wiseman, Toyota’s North American vice president of external affairs, told Bloomberg News.
“With customers reacting so positively to all of the new and updated products we’re introducing this year, we’re optimistic the good momentum will continue," he added.
However, both Toyota and General Motors should be on the lookout for the Volkswagen Group, which follows closely behind with 2.16 million sales in the first quarter of the year.