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GM set to retake top automaker title

The Detroit-based car maker claims it sold nine million vehicles in 2011.


January 11, 2012
by The CANADAN PRESS

DETROIT—Riding strong sales in the U.S. and China, General Motors Co. (GM) is on track to retake the title of world’s top-selling automaker, beating out Volkswagen and Toyota.

GM lost the crown to Toyota in 2008 after holding it for more than seven decades.

It won’t release global sales numbers until later this month, but GM is on pace to finish 2011 at around nine million cars and trucks, at least 800,000 more than its German and Japanese rivals.

While winning the global sales crown doesn’t mean much to its bottom line, it’s an example of just how far the company has come since it nearly collapsed in financial ruin back in 2009, when it sold only 7.5 million vehicles.

Volkswagen AG says it sold a record 8.156 million vehicles last year, a 14 per cent rise over 2010.

Toyota, whose production suffered from the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, sold 7.9 million vehicles in 2011.

2012 could bring a tighter race once Toyota recovers from Japan’s disasters and more threats from the Nissan-Renault venture as it upgrades its arsenal.

Volkswagen, whose brands include Audi, Skoda and Seat, has a goal of producing 10 million vehicles per year and passing Toyota and GM to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018.