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Toyota Edges GM to Remain World’s Top Auto Maker

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Topics:  Toyota, General Motors

Toyota Edges GM to Remain World’s Top Auto Maker

VOA Breaking News (Voice of America)
January 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. says its group sales rose last year, enabling it to remain the world's top auto maker by a narrow margin over U.S. rival General Motors.

Toyota said Monday it sold 8.42 million vehicles in 2010, an eight percent rise from the previous year, as it recovered from a massive 2009 recall that tarnished its brand image, particularly in the United States.

General Motors also reported 2010 sales, saying it delivered 8.39 million vehicles — just short of Toyota's figure, but marking a 12-percent jump from 2009. GM says much of its growth came from the China market, where its sales surged 29 percent to 2.35 million. It is the first auto maker to sell more than 2 million cars in China in a single year.

Toyota reported China sales of 846,000 vehicles, up 19 percent from 2009, but far behind GM's total. China is the world's largest auto market.

GM held the status of world's top auto maker for almost eight decades before losing it to Toyota in 2008. Representatives of both companies played down the importance of that title, Monday. Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco says the company's objective is to be number one with customers in terms of service.

GM says deliveries in the United States, its number-two market, rose 6 percent last year. Toyota says sales in North America fell 2 percent in the same period.

GM received a U.S. government bailout and emerged from a bankruptcy reorganization in 2009. Toyota announced the recall of millions of vehicles that year due to faulty floor mats, gas pedals, software glitches and other defects. It also paid fines of $49 million to the U.S. government in connection with the recalls.

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