In the U.S., the pecking order among Japanese automakers looks like this: Way out in front is Toyota, followed by Honda and Nissan respectively. On a global scale, however, Nissan has finally leapfrogged Honda for second banana status. Torque News reports that Nissan's global sales soared 21 percent in 2010 due in part to exploding business in China. All told, Nissan moved 4.08 million units during the calendar year.

Honda also saw increased sales, but it managed only a five percent gain. That's 3.56 million vehicles sold, or about 500,000 fewer units than its rival. 2010 was a very solid year for Nissan, as well its alliance partner Renault, which also fared very well. Together the two automakers combined to sell 7.3 million cars and trucks. That's more than Ford or Volkswagen, though Renault-Nissan sales aren't officially counted together when the final rankings are tabulated at the end of the year. Toyota led all automaker sales for the year, followed by General Motors and VW.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

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