Toyota retains title of world’s largest automaker

It was a tough 2010 for Toyota, the year was marked by repeated recalls including the single largest recall in automotive history (read news). Despite these major meltdowns, Toyota managed to remain the world’s largest automaker last year. According to recent reports, the Japanese manufacturer amazingly saw its sales actually rise by eight percent to 8.42 million units in total if you include sub brands Lexus, Hino and Daihatsu. That figure beat out second placed General Motors, which saw its sales increase by 12 percent with 8.39 million units sold.

Toyota’s sales did drop in the lucrative U.S. market by 0.4 percent due mainly to safety concerns, but the automaker saw large increases in China. The company’s sales in China jumped by 19 percent, but by comparison General Motors did even better with a Chinese sales increase of 29 percent.

Bronze medal winner Volkswagen, meanwhile, managed to sell 7.14 million vehicles worldwide during 2010, further confirming its place as the third-largest automaker in the world. That figure marks a 14 percent increase over 2009, and VW says that it fully expects to see sales increase by at least five percent more in 2011.

Toyota is also optimistic forecasting its sales to hit 8.6 million vehicles in 2011.

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