Less than three years after emerging from bankruptcy General Motors is positioned to once again be the world’s number one automaker, with sales for 2011 totaling 9.03 million. Its largest brand Chevrolet, meanwhile, reported an all-time record of 4.76 million sales to close out its 100th anniversary.
GM’s victory celebration will have to wait for Toyota to confirm its 2011 numbers. The Japanese giant had toppled its U.S. rival as global king-of-the-hill three years ago but it lost 100s of thousands of units of production in 2011 due to the impact of the March 11 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
For the first three quarters of last year, Toyota deliveries were off 8.8%, to 5.77 million, and though it had hoped to pick up lost momentum in the fourth quarter its plans were again set back by subsequent flooding in Thailand. Preliminary figures suggest it will end 2011 with 7.9 million sales, down about 6% for the full year.