Toyota has regained its crown as the world's top car-maker.

The Japanese firm said its global vehicle sales for last year were a record 9.748 million – bigger than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million.

General Motors had been the top-selling car-maker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008.

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The Detroit-based firm retook the sales crown in 2011, when Toyota's production was hit by the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, but it fell short in 2012, selling 9.29 million.

Global vehicle sales for the maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury model surged nearly 23% from the previous year. Overseas sales jumped 19%, while sales in Japan, where the economy has been troubled, recovered 35%.

Volkswagen, the world's third biggest car-maker, sold a record 9.1 million vehicles globally.