Look who's back on top again? Just 30 months since General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, the Detroit-based automaker can once again call itself the world's largest. GM sold just over 9 million vehicles globally in 2011, its highest sales total ever, while chief rival Toyota may slip as far as third place, according to TheDetroitBureau.com, which reports that Volkswagen will pass Toyota to claim the runner-up spot.

Led by a record-setting 4.76 million sales year from Chevrolet, GM saw sales rise in all four of its reporting regions. The company says it now claims 11.9 percent of the global market. Sales in the U.S. were up 13 percent with 1.7 million vehicles sold.

It wasn't a good year for Toyota, the largest carmaker by sales volume for the past three years, since unseating GM in 2008. The Japanese manufacturer experienced production interruptions from the earthquake and resultant tsunami in Japan in early 2011, and then again when Thailand experienced widespread flooding later in the year.

While GM's legion of critics will no doubt point to the natural disasters in an attempt to diminish the significance of GM reclaiming the top spot, the company has to be feeling pretty good about its accomplishments last year. Not that being number one matters that much. As analyst Aaron Bragman of IHS Automotive tells The Bureau, "Being biggest in the world is not necessarily an advantage to anyone."

But it's certainly good for bragging rights and positive morale. As they say in sports, "scoreboard, baby." To read GM's full press release, click past the jump.
Show full PR text
Chevrolet Achieves Best-Ever Global Sales in 2011
Brand's strong results help push GM past 9 million annual sales


DETROIT – Chevrolet sold 4.76 million vehicles around the world in 2011, setting a global sales record and driving General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) global sales to more than 9 million vehicles, a 7.6 percent gain compared with 2010.

GM gained four-tenths of a point of market share to 11.9 percent of the global vehicle industry. Sales were up in all four reporting regions – North America, South America, Europe and International Operations – as GM sold a total of 9,025,942 vehicles compared with 8,385,484 in 2010.

The United States led the way for Chevrolet with total vehicle sales of 1,775,812, up more than 13 percent from 2010. China posted record sales of 595,068, up 9.5 percent from the previous year. Other markets that posted significant year-over-year increases include Vietnam (79 percent), Russia (49 percent), Turkey (30 percent) and Germany (21 percent).

"Chevrolet's impressive growth in both established and developing markets is the result of a strong new product lineup that meets the diverse needs of consumers around the world," said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "In addition to Chevrolet's record-setting sales, the entire lineup of GM vehicles is meeting customer needs for fuel-efficient cars and work vehicles as well as unmatched luxury."

Chevrolet is building its global presence by delivering cars like the Cruze, Sonic (Aveo) and Spark, the all-new midsize global Malibu, and crossovers and trucks like the Orlando and Colorado that are designed for the varied driving conditions and customer preferences around the world.

The Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan led the brand with global sales of more than 670,000 in 2011, making it the best-selling Chevrolet nameplate around the world with more than 1.13 million sold since its launch in 2009. In the United States, Chevrolet was the best selling passenger car brand in 2011, thanks in large part to the success of the Cruze.

More than 15 markets experienced record Chevrolet sales in 2011 with the largest year-over-year increases in Peru (81 percent), Vietnam (79 percent), Thailand (57 percent), South Africa (50 percent) and Israel (46 percent). The top 10 Chevrolet sales markets in 2011 were:

Market Total 2011 Sales
United States 1,775,812
Brazil 632,201
China 595,068
Russia 173,485
Mexico 162,461
Canada 150,540
Argentina 133,491
Uzbekistan 121,584
India 111,056
Colombia 105,783

"Without doubt the new Chevrolet portfolio has been a catalyst for our success around the world," said Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations. "The launch of the Chevrolet brand in South Korea along with tremendous growth in China and across the rest of our international operations is proof that Chevrolet is becoming a first choice for customers around the globe."

As Chevrolet enters its second century, it continues to become a more global brand, with more than 60 percent of its sales outside the U.S. market.

"In 2012, we will continue to expand our range with even more great vehicles as we pursue further growth in our key markets," Lee said.

On a corporate basis, GM'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.


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  • 217 Comments
      dododoers
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's about time people realize that we MUST by American to save America. I wouldn't have a foreign car in my driveway. Buying foreign means 95% of the profits go to foreign countries. BY AMERICAN!!!!!
      Phil & Deb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Type your comment here I could not be happier my husband works for a GM dealership and we have road the wave of closing of dealerships that really should not have been closed and and 50% lose in income and have worked our way out of a bad thing and Please buy American , and by the way we were not happy about the bailout either but we are so thankful we srill have jobs
      Sheila
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good people should keep buying American.
      HI BRAD
      • 2 Years Ago
      well my wife and myself got a 2010 camaro and chevy is really making great strides in quality and cars and trucks we the consumers want, great car .
      Hey Bitch ;)
      • 2 Years Ago
      PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS! UAW is involved with ALL 3 (well both GM and Ford.. Chrysler is now Italian) automakers. Also GM posted profits in ALL areas. Not just in China or the US. Why cant people give GM their DUE credit?? They are paying back their loans YEARS in ADVANCE WITH INTEREST! They didnt take the money and run (like the banks did) They stoop up, took credit for their problems and they turned it around. I own a 09' Traverse and its an AMAZING TRUCK! Perfect size and the build quality is PHENOMINAL! Ive owned VW's and Toyotas. They are not that great. Boring over rated cars. For GM to make world class vehicles in ALL CLASSES is amazing. A 100K Corvette that beats the pants off of $400K Italian super cars. The impala (long in the tooth now) but is a HUGE seller. My sister in law has on and she loves it. Their SUVs are top notch, I wouldnt trade my Trav. for anything from Honda or Toyota. And GM is very proactive with any issues. I had ONE recall for a seatbelt latch. they called me and when i took it in the car was fixed in 20 mins. The 100K mile warranty is amazing also. I ran over a nail and took it into my local GM shop and they repaired the tire and put it back on the car for FREE! So say waht you want about GM.. They have my business. And as soon as I pay off my Traverse im going to buy me a Tahoe.
      Johnny
      • 2 Years Ago
      Robert toyota and honda are homely grandma cars and gm has exciting and cool cars like the camaro and their suv's are the best and most durable and high quality. You are just a winy shill for toyota and will never give gm credit when they deserve it.
      amber
      • 2 Years Ago
      go GM!!!! we own 3 gm cars and LOVE them, we need to stick together and buy american!!! So few things are made in the country anymore we need to support the things that are in hope that more jobs will be brought back here.
      viokand
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't believe that even the land of mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen (Germany), loves General motors, keep up with the good work GM. and congratulations for taking back the number one spot in auto sales.
      Kris
      • 2 Years Ago
      So when are they going to let the retires enjoy their come back. The men and women that worked and helped build this company. The retires are now and have been paying for theie eye and dental care. Eye care isn't that much but dental care is ove a hundred dollars a month and we didn't get a cost of living raise in September. They came out with eye and dental care for retires and it's a joke. The UAW needs to get off of there butts and do something for the retires and treat them fair again. The UAW needs to stop kissing the auto companies butts and standup for the workers and retires again.
        ralph w
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kris
        Kris, why do you hate America? It's 2011. Every man for himself and to h**l with everyone else, even--no especially-- the elderly and retired. If you want more, then you should focus your efforts on making sure that other people in the lower and middle class have less. But don't you dare look at the super rich, because that's just plain envy.
      darkness
      • 2 Years Ago
      This has to be one of the best turn around stories in modern history.
        Cooperaaaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @darkness
        Thank President Obama for that one !
          The Law
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
          Who's Ron Paul?
          Basil Exposition
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
          Actually, it was President Bush who initiated the bailout of GM, so you can thank him. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16740.html
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
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          mythicalprogrammer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
          It's both Bush and Obama. But most conservatives, that I've met and what I've read online, are against the bailouts and cash for clunkers.
          Big Rocket
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
          @Basil Exposition: Let's not forget Obama's bailout was much larger than Bush's, anywhere from 2 to 4 times larger. For those interested in facts, GM received about $9 billion under Bush, and about $40 billion under Obama. Likewise, Chrysler received $4 billion under Bush, and $8.5 billion under Obama. And the most crucial point is, most Republicans were united in their opposition to Bush's bailouts. Whether you support or oppose the bailouts, the Democrats are the ones who deserve the praise or criticism. Sources: http://www.factcheck.org/2011/06/obamas-bumbles/ "The Bush administration had already given GM more than $9 billion... before Obama announced a deal... in return for additional federal aid." http://www.factcheck.org/2010/05/general-motors-debt/ "... the Treasury gave GM $49.5 billion, most of which was converted into an ownership stake in the form of stock." http://www.factcheck.org/2011/06/chrysler-paid-in-full/ "The company [Chrysler] got $12.5 billion in bailout funds under the Bush and Obama administrations... Chrysler received $4 billion on Jan. 2, 2009, (18 days before Obama took office)..." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28108346/ns/business-autos/t/gop-senators-voice-opposition-auto-bailout/ "Emergency aid for the nation's imperiled auto industry was thrown into jeopardy Wednesday, opposed by Republicans who were revolting against a hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House to speed $14 billion to ailing carmakers."
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cooperaaaron
          @Pj Malloy I don't know if you are being willfully ignorant, or just ignorant. GM owed tens of billions of dollars to the UAW pension fund. That is why the UAW got a minority ownership share of GM. That "50 billionof our dollars" went into GM coffers to fund the bankruptcy and turnaround. And it wasn't a giveaway, the government took partial ownership in return, ownership shares that they can and have (partially) sold. Sorry to hear about your father's dealership, but the fact of the matter is that GM has too many, small, dealers. They need fewer, larger, dealers with the revenue to compete with the Toyota/Honda/Nissan mega-dealers. Without the bailout, your father's dealership would have been lost anyway.
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to GM? LOL I wish I could say it was well earned but it wasn't. Being handed no debt and having an unfair advantage after miserably failing is not to be applauded. Anyone can pump out 9 millions cars with no legacy costs, no debt, a clean slate with a massive in-place infrastructure and a giant lump of cash from an IPO. It's like saying to a kid that spent his college money on dope, ran up the family credit cards, forced the entire family to go belly up and then be handed a mansion, a blank check and some super cars and then going "Wow, you achieved so much Son". They achieved nothing! Buy Ford, They're the Star Vote me down if anything I said is not true, otherwise up!
        cozypaws
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        You speak the truth you are 100 percent correct
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        A whole bunch of down votes and not one person can make a statement that says my statement isn't true. Hmm I wonder why!
      • 2 Years Ago
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        • 2 Years Ago
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