Pic: AP.

Pic: AP.

TOKYO (AP) — Volkswagen overtook Toyota in global vehicle sales for January-June, the first time the German automaker has come out at the top in the intensely competitive tallies.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it sold 5.02 million vehicles in the first six months of this year.

Volkswagen said earlier it sold 5.04 million vehicles during the same period. Sales were robust in Europe and North America but fell in China, a strong market for the company.

Detroit-based General Motors Corp., the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades until being surpassed by Toyota in 2008, is expected to report its figure Thursday.

Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, has been the world’s top-selling automaker for the past three years.