Toyota Motor Corp. Takes Back Global Auto Sales Title

February 04, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
WATERVILLE, Maine, Feb. 4, 2013 — After a short hiatus in 2011, Toyota Motor Corp. has once again emerged as the global leader in auto sales. Taking back the sales crown from General Motors Co., Toyota sold 9.75 million vehicles in 2012, a reflection of the automaker's full recovery from the natural disasters in Japan the year prior that lowered its production and sales.

In the United States, sales for the Toyota brand climbed 34 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. That large gain was due in part to sales of the Toyota Prius family, which showed domestic growth of 73 percent year-over-year, with 236,659 units sold. Last March, two all-new Prius models joined the lineup, including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the Prius c, the smallest and most affordable family member.

"More and more, car buyers are looking for fuel-efficient vehicles to help them fight unstable gas prices across the country," said Jeff Leclerc, general sales manager of Central Maine Toyota, a Waterville, ME Toyota dealership. "The Prius has earned the trust of smart car shoppers, and the new additions to the family have given buyers a surprising range of choices from a hybrid line, whether they want value, versatility or style."

Though Toyota is back on top as the global sales leader, the company is still looking to broaden its customer base with bolder designs. At the Detroit Auto Show last month, Toyota debuted its latest concept car with that aim in mind: the Corolla Furia Concept. Potentially hinting at the future design language of the popular Toyota Corolla, the Furia Concept features a more dramatic style than previous generations, which have often focused on subtlety rather than sportiness.

The Corolla Furia Concept showcases a smoothly sloping roofline, a swept-back windshield and expressive fender flares, creating an aggressive look that is intensified by a custom "Fuego Furioso" orange paint job, a blacked-out grille and a carbon-fiber lower spoiler. While Toyota hopes that elements from the Furia's design will appeal to future car buyers, the current-generation Corolla proved its mettle once again last year as Toyota's second best seller, moving 290,947 units in the United States for a 21 percent year-over-year increase.

"The Corolla is a perennial top seller, so Toyota could probably get away with making minimal changes to its next generation, but instead the Furia concept hints at significant revisions that will make the sedan more engaging than ever," added Leclerc. "Even with its exciting new design, you know that the next Corolla will be just as comfortable and dependable as it's always been."

About Central Maine Toyota:
A part of the Central Maine Motors Auto Group, Central Maine Toyota has served local drivers for years with the outstanding Toyota buying experience they deserve. Their diverse inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles, as well as their friendly, professional staff, has earned Central Maine Toyota a reputation for delivering unrivaled automotive sales and service. View their inventory in person at 15 Airport Rd. in Waterville, or online at They can also be reached by phone at 888-876-9194 and found on Facebook at