For the third straight year in 2010, Toyota Motor Corp. became the world's largest automaker as global vehicle demand outweighed a drop in U.S. sales. In a statement released last Monday, Toyota said that its sales, including its luxury Lexus marque as well as deliveries from affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., increased by 8% to 8.42 million units in 2010.
In a separate statement, General Motors Co., the second-ranked car company, said that its worldwide deliveries rose by 12% to 8.39 million units. For 2010, Toyota’s U.S. sales slowed by 0.4% to 1.76 million units as the carmaker’s reputation took a beating as it had to issue record recalls for defects related to unintended acceleration.
Its sales in China rose by 19% but this fails to topple GM's 29% climb in the country. Satoru Takada, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc., said that Toyota's sales in Asia are increasing, but in China, it lags behind GM and other market leaders.
Takada said that this isn’t surprising since Toyota struggled under the recalls, it didn’t have a lot of new models launched, and its top-selling Camry was at the end of its cycle.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG, the world's third biggest carmaker, sold 7.14 million vehicles in 2010, a 14% increase, and predicted growth of 5% in 2011, according to sales chief Christian Klingler on Jan. 10. Toyota anticipates that 2011 sales will total to about 8.6 million vehicles. A 2011 forecast was not included in GM's recent statement. [via autonews - sub. required]