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Toyota Remains World's Largest Automaker Despite Recalls

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On: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 11:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Remains World's Largest Automaker Despite Recalls

When American news reports on the Detroit “Big 3” they are referring to Ford, GM, and Chrysler, the major automakers that for many years made Detroit their home and were the dominant forces in American auto manufacturing. The emphasis is on “American.” When you look at top global sales figures for autos, the Detroit “Big 3” is joined by other automakers, such as Toyota and VW.

For the third year in a row, Toyota Motor Corporation can claim the title of “world’s largest automaker.” That’s pretty impressive given the hit that Toyota took from its recent massive recall and bad press. Regardless of those negatives, Toyota was happy to proclaim that deliveries from its Daihatsu Motor, Hino Motors, and Lexus Marque affiliates actually grew by 8% to a total 8.42 million cars sold in 2010.

GM was able to bring home the silver sales medal with a close 8.39 million cars sold. Here’s an interesting factoid: for the very first time since GM began making cars 102 years ago, they actually sold more vehicles in China than in the U.S. The numbers break down like this: 2,351,610 for China versus 2,215,227 for the U.S. Once again, a close call, but close doesn’t count for car sales. Incidentally, both of those numbers represent an increase over 2009.

From the “if only things had happened differently” file, Toyota found its U.S. sales dipped 0.4% as it tried to rebound from those recall issues. Across the Pacific, Toyota saw its China figures hop up 19% but that still wasn’t enough to take the title away from GM with its 29% uptick in China sales.

“Toyota's sales in Asia are growing, but in China it's clearly lagging behind GM and other market leaders,” said Satoru Takada, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc. “In the U.S., with the recalls, a lack of splashy new models, and the top-selling Camry at the end of its cycle, the result is not surprising.”

Meanwhile, chiming in at third place for the most global car sales was the always dependable Volkswagen, which managed to have 7.14 million cars leave their worldwide showrooms in 2010. That’s up 14% from 2009.

Toyota's number one status won’t stop the Japanese automaker from bragging a bit. Toyota predicts to sell 8.6 million cars in 2011. For now the jury is out; stay tuned to autoshopper.com for more details to come.


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