It was a good year for the U.S. auto industry – more or less. After a late-in-the-year burst of activity, sales topped 11 million for 2010, but that’s still a far cry from the 17 million numbers posted a decade ago.
It also meant that China would again retain the title as the world’s largest automotive market. And with sales in the Asian nation still growing at a double-digit rate, it’s hard to find a single maker that didn’t set another record, from Ferrari to Ford to General Motors.
GM has now cemented its lead, boosting sales for the year by 29%, to 2.35 million. In October, GM became the first maker to ever sell more than 2 million cars in a single year in China.
But there’s a downside to that news. The General actually saw its momentum slip for the year, after scoring a whopping 67% increase in sales in 2009. Kevin Wale, president of GM’s Chinese subsidiary, expects to still see growth in 2011, but at a more tepid 11% pace.