Despite being dragged down by record-setting recalls, Toyota Motor Corp. still managed to edge out General Motors for the top spot in global vehicle sales.
Toyota reports that it sold 8.418 million vehicles world-wide last year, including those sold by its subsidiaries, Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., an 8% increase from the previous year.
However, General Motors came close to eclipsing the Japanese maker, falling short by a mere 28,000 vehicles, having closed the gap from a reported 330,000 vehicle shortfall in 2009.
GM reports that sales grew 12% last year, with strong growth in the Chinese market, as well as good increases in North America.
General Motors sales in Canada grew by only 2.2% (versus a 6.3% growth in the U.S.), keeping it in sixth place overall in the Canadian market.
The narrower gap comes as Toyota struggled with global recalls of more than 8.5 million vehicles, with largest, most publicized being related to unintended acceleration issues. As a result Toyota lost market share in the largest market, the U.S.
Taking the bronze medal in the global vehicle race was Vokswagen AG, which had sales grow by 14%–the highest of the three–though total sales of 7.14 million still left a significant gap to the top two players.
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