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Toyota top selling automaker despite China fall

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Toyota held onto its status as the world's top-selling automaker in the first quarter of this year, although the three-way race with General Motors and Volkswagen is proving tight, as its sales fell in China and Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Wednesday it sold 2.43 million vehicles during the January-March period, outpacing General Motors Co. at 2.36 million vehicles and Volkswagen AG at 2.27 million vehicles. Toyota's first quarter sales declined 2.2 percent from a year earlier, while those for GM were up 3.6 percent and Volkswagen's jumped 5.1 percent. GM's quarterly results were within about 69,000 vehicles of Toyota's. The Japanese firm reclaimed its crown as world's top automaker last year after losing it to GM a year earlier.

, when it was battered by the tsunami and quake disasters in northeastern Japan.

GM had been No. 1 for seven decades before losing that title to Toyota in 2008.

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