Toyota Motor Corp. is still at the top in global vehicle sales after the first quarter, selling 2.52 million vehicles around the world.

The Japanese automaker has been the world' top-selling automaker for the past three years. The numbers, released Thursday, top No. 2 Volkswagen Group of Germany at 2.49 million vehicles for the January-March period.

Volkswagen edged out U.S. automaker General Motors Co., which reported global sales of 2.4 million vehicles earlier this week. Volkswagen announced its figures last week.

Toyota's sales were down 2 percent from a year ago, as vehicle sales in Japan lagged. Volkswagen's sales were up 1.8 percent on year, while GM's were up 1.9 percent.

The race among the three automakers is intense, playing out worldwide, including relatively new markets like India and China.