GM back on top?

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With the slow-down in production in the aftermath of the tsunami/earthquake in Japan, the output from Toyota has slowed.  This has allowed GM to take the top spot for the manufacturers for the first half of 2011.

General Motors outsold Toyota globally in the first six months to become the world’s largest automaker.  GM sales rose 8.9 percent to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30.  That compares with 4.13 million units at second-ranked Volkswagen AG and 3.71 million units for Toyota, whose figures include the luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd.

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

However, even if Toyota recovers production, it will take another few more months for sales to actually recover is the prediction, and as it takes time to deliver vehicles, Toyota’s sales may trail behind Volkswagen in the full year as well.

GM’s U.S. sales climbed to 669,065 vehicles in the second quarter, according to industry researcher Autodata Corp, with the Chevrolet Cruze being the top-selling car in the market in June, and the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup remained the second most popular vehicle, behind Ford’s F-Series.

With the sales in China for GM also improving, with Cadillac doing very well against Mercedes-Benz and BMW, it is likely that GM will continue at the top into 2012.