Toyota Narrowly Beats Out GM and VW for World's Biggest Automaker

By Jacob Brown | January 24, 2014
Bragging rights can mean a lot to an automaker. For a long time, General Motors was the biggest automaker in the world, striving to outsell its rivals. Two years on now, Toyota has taken that role, leading for the second time in as many years with a record 9.98 million units sold. More scary is the fact that Toyota has its eye on selling upwards of 10.32 million vehicles in 2014, which would be the first time an automaker ever exceeded that threshold in a single year. Don't feel sorry for Toyota's largest rivals, however. They're doing just fine. Just a handful of years after General Motors left bankruptcy, it has posted sales of 9.71 million vehicles. Hot-sellers like the Chevrolet Silverado and Chevrolet Cruze, as well as Buick's popularity in China, have helped sustain GM's growth.
Volkswagen, meanwhile, finished with the bronze metal, amassing 9.5 million in 2013. In the U.S., Volkswagen sold 611,700 vehicles, falling far below its ambitious goal of 800,000 units. That could be why North American president Jonathan Browning left the company. Volkswagen and Toyota have been able to keep strong in a tumultuous European economy, while all three have picked up ground in Asia, especially in developing economies. While no longer a stated goal of any of the automakers but VW, being the world's top-seller comes with a certain amount of built-in morale-boosters. Will Toyota be able to top 10 million sales this year? We'll just have to wait and find out. Sources: Detroit News, Volkswagen