Toyota said it sold 4.91 million cars and trucks in the first six months of the year.
Sky News reported Friday that the company sold an average of 26,830 cars daily from January through June.
U.S. automaker General Motors, producer of vehicles including Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Opel, Pontiac and Hummer, said it outsold Toyota by 10,000 cars in the second quarter, but for the first half of the year GM was in second place with 4.85 million vehicles sold.
Behind GM, German automaker Volkswagen AG sold 4.7 million vehicles from January through June, including the brands of Audi, Porsche and Bentley.
GM was briefly at the top of the list when Toyota sales stumbled in 2011 due to a production-halting earthquake that struck in March of that year and recall problems that affected millions of cars worldwide.
Toyota has done well despite a boycott in China that was the result of negative feelings about Japan due to a territorial dispute between the countries.
If those weren't enough hurdles, car sales in Japan have been stagnant for years, Sky News said. The European economy, meanwhile, is in a prolonged recession.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda waxed poetic about the company's success this week.
""What truly defines being number one is an eternal pursuit for which there is never an answer," he said.