> > GM return to top of heap, Toyota to lose No1, while Volkwagen movoes into 2nd
GM return to top of heap, Toyota to lose No1, while Volkwagen movoes into 2nd
09 November 2011 - It's not just Toyota Motor Corp.'s recalls last year or Japan's earthquake driving General Motors Co. back to being the world's largest automaker. With 6.79 million sales through September of this year, GM leads Toyota by 1 million vehicles. Germany's Volkswagen AG is the surprising second with 6.17 million vehicles sold this year.
GM's revival has cut short what seemed like Toyota's destiny to take the throne from the old, complacent king. That victory lasted three years, giving way to a battle royale that now includes VW. Toyota, the world’s number one automaker, looks set to lose the most – the company is set to cede the top spot in global new-vehicle sales in 2011 to the resurgent General Motors, according to reports.
The industry has taken a tectonic shift as GM rebounds and Toyota reflects on whether its race to be No. 1 was wise, said Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih. "It's a rather remarkable recovery given the shape GM was in two years ago," said Shih, who has written on restoring American competitiveness. "GM lost a generation of customers. To win some back is an achievement."
GM said global sales have risen 9.2 percent this year and has earned fatter profits than it has in more than 20 years. The Detroit-based carmaker earned $6.17 billion last year and $8.47 billion in the first nine months of this year.