Courtesy of autoblog:
Look who’s back on top again? Just 30 months since General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, the Detroit-based automaker can once again call itself the world’s largest. GM sold just over 9 million vehicles globally in 2011, its highest sales total ever, while chief rival Toyota may slip as far as third place, according to TheDetroitBureau.com, which reports that Volkswagen will pass Toyota to claim the runner-up spot.
Led by a record-setting 4.76 million sales year from Chevrolet, GM saw sales rise in all four of its reporting regions. The company says it now claims 11.9 percent of the global market. Sales in the U.S. were up 13 percent with 1.7 million vehicles sold.
It wasn’t a good year for Toyota, the largest carmaker by sales volume for the past three years, since unseating GM in 2008. The Japanese manufacturer experienced production interruptions from the earthquake and resultant tsunami in Japan in early 2011, and then again when Thailand experienced widespread flooding later in the year.
While GM’s legion of critics will no doubt point to the natural disasters in an attempt to diminish the significance of GM reclaiming the top spot, the company has to be feeling pretty good about its accomplishments last year. Not that being number one matters that much. As analyst Aaron Bragman of IHS Automotive tells The Bureau, “Being biggest in the world is not necessarily an advantage to anyone.”
But it’s certainly good for bragging rights and positive morale. As they say in sports, “scoreboard, baby.” To read GM’s full press release, click past the jump.