Toyota retains title of world’s largest automaker

January 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

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.

Popularity of V8 engines continues to fade

March 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When it comes to engine popularity in the American new car market much has changed according to a recent survey by Wards Auto. Back in 1969 the V8 engine was at a high point and was fitted to 88 percent of all cars sold. With increased fuel prices and global pressure for lower emission vehicles only 4.9% of all cars sold in America have V8 engines.

Four cylinder engines marched up ten percent to increase market dominance of lower cylinder count powertrains. Nearly 62 percent of cars produced in 2009 carried four bangers, up ten percent in just a year from 2008’s 51.7 percent.

Numbers are up for engines below 3.0 litres in capacity, while displacements smaller than 2.0 litres actually saw a decline for 2009. Four-cylinder engines rated between 2.0 and 2.9 litres are stealing customers away from V6 and V8 units by being less expensive and providing improved performance thanks to direct injection and forced induction. Production numbers for trucks also dropped Stateside in 2009, pushing numbers further in favor of smaller engines.

Whatever the future holds for the V8 engine in terms of new car sales, there will always be garages of car nuts working on getting the most out of the bent-eight.