For what seemed like an eternity, the title of World's Largest Automaker belonged to General Motors. More recently, Toyota was able to wrestle the mantle away from GM as the Japanese automaker made huge gains in GM's home country and abroad, and Volkswagen has been nipping at the two behemoth's heels. According to Bloomberg, though, the top three are likely to see themselves reshuffled before 2011 officially draws to a close.

Volkswagen, with an estimated 2011 sales tally of around 8.1 million vehicles globally (up 13 percent over 2010), is likely to earn top billing as the largest automaker in the world. General Motors, which was in the sales lead through the first half of 2011, ought to move around 7.55 million machines (an eight-percent increase) to hold on to second place while Toyota's estimated 7.27 million sales (a nine-percent falloff) would only be good enough for third in the global race for sales dominance.

There are a number of reasons Toyota has seen its sales flounder in 2011 – most notably the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in the first quarter of the year that halted production of many of its popular models, but also due in part to lingering aftereffects of its recall-ridden history over the past few years. Company CEO Akio Toyoda has vowed to address all of these concerns.

Analysts are split on predictions for 2012, with some suggesting VW will have enough momentum to hang on to its number one spot and others believing Toyota will rebound to reclaim first place in global sales. Success in emerging markets like China and India will likely be the deciding factor in sales supremacy, both in 2012 and in the years to follow.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X