TOKYO — Now it's official: Toyota is once again the world's top automaker.
Toyota Motor Corp. released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year Monday at a record 9.748 million vehicles — a bigger number than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million vehicles.
It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as the Detroit-based automaker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles.
GM had been the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008.
GM retook the sales crown in 2011, when Toyota's production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in Japan.
The latest results show Toyota's powerful comeback.
Global vehicle sales for the maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury model surged nearly 23 percent from the previous year. Overseas sales jumped 19 percent, while sales in Japan, where the economy has been troubled, recovered 35 percent.
Volkswagen AG of Germany, the world's No. 3 automaker, sold a record 9.1 million vehicles around the world.
Toyota is planning to sell 9.91 million vehicles globally in 2013, putting it back on track toward its earlier goal of 10 million vehicles — a target that it had made a special effort to play down after its recall crisis.