Toyota regains top spot as world’s biggest automaker

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TOKYO, JAPAN – The folks at Toyota have something to cheer about.

The big Japanese auto-maker recaptured its title as the world’s largest automaker in 2012 by selling 9.75 million vehicles around the world, including more than 600,000 heavy-duty trucks and buses during the year.

Toyota’s rebound knocked General Motors back to second place with 9.29 million sales. The German giant Volkswagen Group came in third by selling 9.1million vehicles.

Toyota’s sales fell in 2011, mostly because of the deadly earthquake and tsunami that shut down auto plants in Japan and halted production of parts and supplies.

No tsunami hit Detroit last year, so GM can’t use that as an excuse.