• Apr 7th 2009 at 8:25AM
  • 46
Sometime last year, General Motors lost the title of the World's Largest Automaker to Toyota. As you surely know by now, GM hasn't really been enjoying the time it's spent as number two, having been hit with what are surely the toughest conditions ever seen by the American automaker in its 100-plus years of existence. Perhaps some time at the number three spot would help?

According to market research company R.L. Polk, Volkswagen is projected to overtake General Motors in total sales sometime this year, assuming GM's sales continue at their current pace, which is down by about 31% from last year. For it's part, VW is expected to see a much smaller 15% drop in global vehicle sales in 2009.

Things may start to look better for The General once the pivotal U.S. market starts to recover, assuming that the automaker is able to ride out the storm with the assistance of the federal government. Polk's own predictions indicate that the worldwide auto market will increase somewhat in 2010 and hit a new record by 2012.







[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      VW poses as the evil one, they make a frikin' lot of money and they don't invest any in cool designs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm talking about VW cars, and if u talk about the VW group I can include Porsche too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        *Cough* BlueSport!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Scirocco is cool.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Alex:
        Boring doesn't sell, just as ugliness does sell (Lowey). What sells the Toyota and Hondas are reliability, economy, relative affordability and NEWness. I don't know of anyone who brags about how cool their Toyotas look (some do with their Hondas... which are cooler looking).

        VWag has lots of great cars, but they don't bring most to the USA, for whatever reason. The Beetle looks great but fails in it's historical modability (the original type-1 could be modified and personalized till one's heart was content. It was fun, nimble and economical. The new Beetle is nothing but the outershell... and falsifies). The Golf/Rabbit should be called the PIG! Their Polo would be fantastic, but even that is going to be super-sized and neutered for the USA market.

        VWOA only has pittance to desire (which I do desire but not enough to throw money at).
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Golf looks much better than the Aveo. The CC/Passat looks a world better than the Impala. The Tiguan looks much better than the Equinox, too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tiguan it's really ugly, I would take any other SUV , but not the Tiguan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        VW is simply following the mantra set by Toyota. Build boring, because boring sells.
        • 6 Years Ago
        guys, let the troll go cry over his dead car company while we are hissing around in our turbo 4 bangers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For me they are not, the cc it's a bad copy after Merc CLS, Scirocco it's not worthy of it's name, and that roadster it's a concept that I don't know what wants to be, it's a Audi and S2000 looking VW with Porsche configuration. So back to the drawing board.
        • 6 Years Ago
        VW doesn't make cool designs.

        So you don't think Bentley's are cool?
        What about Bugatti, Lamborghini......
        • 6 Years Ago
        they don't invest any in cool designs.... and that's why they are going to be #2 in the world.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chevy make cool cars, check out the Corvette , the Camaro and other Chevy cars look better then VW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I do not think VW cars are boring. So why the GTI has made history than. I am sorry Alex but you are wrong.

        And @MVP corvette and camaro are the only design chevy has ever made. All chevy cars are just rebadged cars. It just disgusting. I mean Chevrolet it's a very liked brand here in Europe until GM thought that was a good idea to make chevy a disgusting korean car. I don't have anything American cars (in fact a love them) but GM has earned the failure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have you seen the CC, Scirocco or the new light-weight Roadster? Those are fantastic looking cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A bit off topic but Polk believes that we'll have "record" sales in 2012? From where I stand I'd be shocked if we even come close to 15 million sales let alone a record which as I understand would be somewhere north of 16 or 17 million. My impression of what we "recover" to by 2012 clearly isn't what some think. Things for the U.S. and world economy, and this obviously affects the auto sales, won't be like it was for the past 10 or 15 years and I think (just an opinion of course) auto industry analysts, fanatics, and leaders need to get used to that concept.

      On a more related note, my 2000 VW Passat is junk and it's very doubtful VW will reach that #2 status with my help.
      • 6 Years Ago
      well at least GM still retains the title of largest sum of money lost. They are clearly in the lead there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Correction:
        This is Auto news that somehow seems to get by the domestic Auto journalists.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Otto: Just thought I would share this with you:

        --------------------------------
        The German broadcaster Sudwestrundfunk reports that, on Wednesday this week, a shareholder's meeting of the Mercedes parent Daimler is scheduled.

        The carmaker is currently haemorrhaging a reported $1 billion per month, so drastic cost-saving measures - like capping executives pay - are believed to be on the agenda for the April 8 meeting.
        -----------------------------------

        This is Auto new that somehow seems to get by the domestic Auto journalists.

        They are also looking at Formula 1 as a possible cost cutting measure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You call that competition... 1 billion dollars a month .... There is no way they can catch GM. GM lost 38.7 billion in 2007, and 30.9 Billion in 2008. Over the last 4 years they have lost 82 Billion dollars. There is no way freakin Diamler is going to catch them with that wimpy 1Billion a month number. Try 1.7 Billion a month for that last 4 years. That is the winning pace set by GM.

        http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/257604,general-motors-posts-309-billion-dollar-loss-in-2008--summary.html

        BTW the largest profit ever for an auto company was toyota in 2004 with 10 billion. So GM just has to beat that profit record for the next 8 years, to break even! GO GM you can do it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Once Saturn and Pontiac are "off" GM, that will take about 400,000 units, plus a few thousand units with SAAB gone. But the key to GM size is Opel, if GM loses that brand they will shrink substantially.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have seen a few Taxi guys who drive Lincoln Town car replace them with Camrys
        • 6 Years Ago
        May be true, but GM needs to move away from the business model of so many fragments (Vauxhall, Holden, Opel, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Buick, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, Saab).

        BTW: Opportunity missed = Buick Park Ave, would have done very well replacing the DTS and grabbing Lincoln Town Car sales. Would have been a great executive car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM's days at the top of the global sales charts are gone. Assuming they survive 2009, they will come out a much smaller manufacturer. I wouldn't be surprised to see Honda, Hyundai/Kia and maybe even Ford overtake them down the road.

      Personally, I don't think this is a bad thing at all. Now is GMs opportunity to restructure and come out a far more efficient and leaner company able to go punch for punch.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wonder if we could go a step further by thinking of a possible takeover of GM by another car-maker or an "alliance" once mentionned by Kerkorian during his brief stint at GM with Renault-Nissan in 2006? http://www.autoblog.com/2006/06/30/kerkorian-merge-gm-with-nissan-renault/
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, it doesn't matter if you sell more cars than anyone in the world if you're loosing money while doing it, maybe a shift from a quantity mindset to a quality one (not that their current offerings are bad) is just what they need to do.
        I doubt Honda and Kia/Hyundai would surpass them since as far as cars go they're way behind but Ford might take the three spot, or event manage to slot itself somewhere between VW and Toyota in the future for a while.
        I also project Toyota will start loosing market share soon as many of the people that went to the Toyota brand recently will be cycling on to other brands (very likely Hyundai/Kia for many) and they're beginning to make some of the same mistakes GM did in the past.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i used to laugh at the statement VW made a while back, that it was aiming to be the biggest carmaker in the world within nine years, now im kinda scared.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GO VW!!!!! i love my b6 passat!!!

      (Oo-----w-------oO)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Although, I'm not a fan of VW but still i would rather buy a VW over GM anytime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well I guess GM will still remain in the top five list for quite some time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wait, year to date sales, hasn't GM been doing better than Toyota?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're probably only looking at US sales. Except the US isn't the only car market in the world, so no they're not doing better than Toyota, and as this post points out they're not doing better than even VW.

        The comments about GM on autoblog often focus largely on US sales figures (cited largely for Toyota-bashing purposes). Of course GM's survival depends on worldwide sales and not just US sales. The super pro-American import bashing you see here really just hurts GM's overseas sales by pissing off foreigners who are already wary of GM's problems.

        They literally sell more cars per month in China now than in the US, and Toyota happens to have the largest market share in China (taking the crown from both VW and GM) so their worldwide sales numbers benefit quite a bit from that.

        Honestly if VW wants to take the #1 worldwide crown like they claim they're going to have to do better in China, personally I think their Chinese line-up is a mess with so many generations of the same cars competing against each other in insane mish-mash versions, but then again that seems to be how VW has been expanding it's global market share-running a ton of cars on several versions of the same platforms. Guess we'll see if they manage to take the #1 crown someday.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "surely the toughest conditions ever seen by the American automaker in its 100-plus years of existence"

      Surely you guys slept through history class! Things are great now compared to the 1930's.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But not for automakers, in the 1930s much fewer people bought and owned cars and many of those that did didn't rely on credit markets. The economy may have been worse in the '30s, but then cars were still more of a luxury product than a necessity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But Ken,

        Many, many automakers went out of business in the Great Depression. So far, not even one (of the ones anyone has heard of, at least) has gone belly up this time around... yet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If BHO would put a 19% subsidy on ever GM car/truck then maybe we could be as cool as the Germs.... and maybe America would be the number one capitalist agains.
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