GM Becomes World's Number 1 Automaker, Even VW Surpasses Toyota

It’s been a rough couple of years for Japanese auto giant Toyota. After continued recalls and lack of supply due to the massive Japanese problems caused by the March earthquake, the Big T has finally been overtaken by not one, but two automakers.

General Motors and Volkswagen outsold Toyota during the first six month of the year, so the title of the world biggest carmaker now belongs to the Americans. During the period, GM sales increased 8.9 percent to 4.536 million units, according to a statement made last week.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen now wracks second with 4.13 million units delivered in the half-year that ended June 30th, while Toyota was way behind with 3.71 million wearing its badges finding new owners, including sales of its luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu and Hino Motors, according to statements by the companies.

In the beginning of the month, Toyota expects to enter a production recovery phase in September, one month earlier than previously announced. In addition, it will produce an additional 350,000 units from October until next March to make up for the lost ground.

“Even if Toyota recovers production, it will take another few more months for sales to actually recover”
as it takes time to deliver vehicles to dealers, said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg. “Toyota’s sales may trail behind Volkswagen in the full-year as well.”

With Toyota coming short on the supply front, Korean automakers reported strong gains, especially Hyundai, which saw its sales jump by 11 percent in the first half to 1.96 million units.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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