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 Toyota on Wednesday kept the title of world's biggest automaker for the fourth straight year after saying it sold 10.15 million vehicles globally in 2015, driving past Volkswagen and General Motors.

Dented by a pollution-cheating scandal, Volkswagen earlier logged sales of 9.93 million vehicles worldwide, while Chevrolet and Cadillac maker GM moved 9.8 million last year.

Toyota shares jumped 3.80 percent to end at 6,881 yen ($58) in Tokyo on Wednesday, boosted by reports it is in talks with Suzuki over a partnership to build compact cars for emerging markets, including India.

Strong North American demand drove Toyota's figures as total sales slipped 0.8 percent from 2014, largely owing to a slowdown in Japan where a weak economy hit demand.

Toyota is also facing sluggish sales in Thailand and Indonesia while a Japanese consumption tax hike planned for next year could spark a rush in buying - and subsequent slowdown as prices go up.

The Japanese giant was likely to keep the top automaker crown for at least another year, but a slowdown in top vehicle market China could hurt its numbers, analysts said.

"Toyota is benefiting from the strength of the US auto market, and we expect it to continue to grow this year, so the company should keep its crown," said Yoshiaki Kawano, a Tokyo-based analyst at research firm IHS.

"But in China, Toyota lags behind VW or Nissan".

In the first half of the year, the German giant, whose other brands include Porsche and Audi , was set to become the world's biggest automaker as it rode momentum in emerging economies.

But then it posted its first drop in annual sales for more than a decade, as the company was hammered by a massive pollution cheating scandal.

Volkswagen was sideswiped by stunning revelations in September that it had fitted 11 million vehicles with devices designed to dodge pollution tests.

The US government has said it was suing VW for $20 billion in civil penalties over the scandal.