GM becomes world's largest automaker

Updated: 2011-08-06 07:53

By Anna Mukai and Masatsugu Horie (China Daily)

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 GM becomes world's largest automaker
General Motors Co employees work on the line at the company's assembly plant in Flint, Michigan. The company's sales rose 8.9 percent to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30. Jeff Kowalsky / Bloomberg

The US company overtakes Japan's Toyota to take lead in global market

SEOUL - General Motors Co (GM) outsold Toyota Motor Corp globally in the first six months to become the world's largest automaker after the March 11 earthquake disrupted production in Japan.

GM sales rose 8.9 percent to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30, the Detroit-based automaker said in a statement on Thursday. That compares with 4.13 million units at second-ranked Volkswagen AG and 3.71 million units for Toyota, including its luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co and Hino Motors Ltd, according to statements by the companies.

Output at the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker slumped 23 percent to 3.37 million units in the half-year after the company halted production following the magnitude-9 temblor and tsunami in March. Toyota expects to enter a production recovery phase in September, one month earlier than previously announced, it said on Tuesday.

"Even if Toyota recovers production, it will take another few more months for sales to actually recover", as it takes time to deliver vehicles to dealers, said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo. "Toyota's sales may trail behind Volkswagen in the full-year as well."

GM's US sales climbed to 669,065 vehicles in the second quarter, according to the industry researcher Autodata Corp.

The Chevrolet Cruze was the top-selling car in the market in June and the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup remained the second-most popular vehicle, behind only Ford Motor Co's F-Series line.

Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea's largest automaker, had an 11 percent jump in first-half deliveries of 1.96 million units.

Bloomberg News

(China Daily 08/06/2011 page10)


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