GM reclaims title of world’s largest automaker after official 2011 results image

General Motors surpassed Toyota and Volkswagen to reclaim the crown of world’s largest automaker with global sales of 9.03 million vehicles in 2011.

GM’s sales were 11 percent higher than Volkswagen’s, which last week announced 2011 global sales of 8.16 million. Toyota has not yet reported its final 2011 sales, but in December the Japanese automaker estimated it sold 7.9 million vehicles worldwide last year. Toyota’s sales were affected by production cuts caused by the March earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan and later in the year by floods in Thailand.

GM’s sales in 2011 rose 7.6 percent from 2011. The group’s two largest markets in 2011 were China, where GM and its joint venture partners increased sales 8.3 percent year over year to 2,547,203 vehicles, and the United States, where GM sold 2,503,820 vehicles, up 13.0 percent compared with 2010. GM is the market leader in both countries.

GM’s core brand Chevrolet sold 4.76 million vehicles around the world last year, setting a global sales record. Sales in the U.S. led the way for Chevrolet with total vehicle sales of 1,775,812, accounting for an increase of more than 13 percent. GM China also posted record sales of 595,068, 9.5 percent more than in 2010. Other markets with significant year-over-year increases were Vietnam (79 percent), Russia (49 percent), Turkey (30 percent) and Germany (21 percent).