General Motors will most likely regain the number one spot as far as production figures are concerned, taking into consideration the problems that Toyota has these days. As a quick reminder, GM held the throne for the largest car manufacturer in the world as far as sales are concerned from 1932 until 2008. The Detroit-based company had a lot of financial problems after 2008 when they had to file for bankruptcy.
These problems allowed Toyota to gain the first position, but they will probably have to give it back to General Motors this year due to their production problems in homeland Japan, caused by the earthquake / tsunami that affected the country last month. What this means is that Toyota will probably not be able to manufacture enough cars in order to maintain their number one ranking.
Aside from supply issues, the Japanese automaker is also facing a lot of recalls which have affected the sales over the last few years, having a negative impact on the company’s image of reliability and quality. Over these last few years, Toyota was forced to recall about 14 million cars.
As far as General Motors is concerned, they got back into shape very fast after solving their bankruptcy problems. In 2010, it was a very close race between Toyota and GM, the latter managing to sell only 30,000 units less than the Japanese company. Taking into consideration that the Detroit-based automaker is getting more and more involved in China, selling three times more cars than Toyota, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if at the end of this year they will regain leadership.