In the first half of 2011, General Motors sold more vehicles worldwide than Toyota Motor Corp. With this achievement, GM got the title as the largest automaker in the world after the industry faced production interruptions due to the March 11 earthquake in Japan. In the half-year ended June 30, GM sales fell 8.9% to 4.536 million units. Volkswagen AG, which placed second, sold 4.13 million units.
Toyota sold 3.71 million units, which include sales from Lexus and affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd.
Toyota stopped production last March after the earthquake hit Japan. This led to sales falling by 23% to 3.37 million units in the first six months. On August 2, Toyota said that it anticipates that production will be fully recovered by the start of September, a month earlier than what had been announced before.
Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo, said that it may take Toyota “another few more months” for its sales to really recover since it takes some time to ship the vehicles to dealerships. He added that Toyota’s full-year sales may fall behind VW too. Industry researcher Autodata Corp. said that in the second quarter, GM's U.S. sales increased to 669,065 vehicles.
The Chevrolet Cruze was named the best-selling car for the month of June. Meanwhile, the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup retained its title as the second- most popular vehicle, trailing behind Ford Motor Co.'s F-Series line. In the first half of the year, Hyundai Motor Co. posted an 11% increase of 1.96 million units.