TOKYO - Toyota said Wednesday that it expects to sell 9.7 million vehicles globally this year, up 22 per cent from 2011 as Japan's biggest automaker accelerates a recovery after last year's natural disasters.
Those figures may put Toyota back in pole position as the world's biggest automaker, ahead of General Motors and Volkswagen.
Previous company figures showed Toyota, whose brands include Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino, topped the global carmakers' table in the first half of 2012, accelerating past US-based GM and the German auto giant.
Toyota lost the title last year - a spot it had held between 2008 and 2010 - following a slump in production and sales owing to Japan's March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, floods in Thailand and the strong yen.
GM, which sold about nine million vehicles last year, was the world's biggest carmaker followed by Volkswagen with more than eight million vehicles sold. Toyota sold 7.95 million vehicles.
Toyota also said Wednesday it expects to sell about 9.91 million vehicles in 2013. It was on track to produce 9.94 million vehicles in 2013, nearly unchanged from this year, the company added.