BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Volkswagen
VW group deliveries increased to 9.73 million passenger cars, vans and heavy trucks in 2013, a spokesman said on Thursday, around 5 percent more than in 2012.
GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, up 4 percent year-on-year, while Toyota said its sales rose 2 percent to 9.98 million cars.
VW has pledged to surpass Toyota to snatch the global sales crown no later than 2018, though analysts have said it could meet that goal as early as this year.
Toyota regained the top spot in world auto sales charts in 2012, after slipping to third place behind GM and Volkswagen in 2011, following natural disasters in Japan and Thailand. Previously, Toyota had been on top from 2008 through 2010.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)