Toyota remained the world’s largest auto manufacturer for the third year running in 2010, despite being plagued with numerous product recalls and their associated bad press in the U.S. market. The U.S. Department of Transportation also hit Toyota with record fines, exceeding $48 million, for failing to promptly notify the DOT of three separate safety issues. The incidents led to a revamping of Toyota in the United States, with a greater emphasis placed on both quality control and defect reporting. Despite a decline in U.S. sales, global demand for Toyota products (including Lexus, Hino and Daihatsu) rose 8 percent last year, and Toyota sold some 8.42 million vehicles worldwide.
General Motors was the world’s second largest manufacturer, selling some 8.39 million vehicles under all of their brands worldwide. Volkswagen AG came in third last year, with global sales of 7.14 million. Overall, GM’s sales rose by 6.3 percent last year, while VW’s jumped by an impressive 14 percent worldwide. GM has yet to forecast 2011 sales, but Toyota anticipates sales of 8.6 million vehicles this year, while VW’s 2011 plan calls for sales of some 7.5 million vehicles this year.
Source: Automotive News