It’s been a back-and-forth battle for half a decade. First, Toyota toppled General Motors for the first time in 2008, after the Detroit giant held the title as the world’s top-selling automaker for seven decades. GM clawed back into the top spot in 2011, after a destructive earthquake and tsunami disrupted Toyota’s production.
But according to numbers released this morning, Toyota’s sales hit 7.41 million through the first nine months of 2013. That was enough to top the 7.25 million vehicles GM reported selling from January through September. Volkswagen sold just over 7 million during the first three quarters of 2013, putting it in third place.
Driving Toyota’s comeback were sales of Camry, Corolla, and Tundra in the US, where Japan’s efforts to weaken the yen—a crucial part of Abenomics—is giving a powerful lift to Japan’s exporters. Also lending a hand are the easy money policies of the US Federal Reserve, which have driven interest rates on automotive loans in the states down to historic lows.