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Despite an incredibly trying year filled with recalls and declining demand in the U.S., Toyota Motor Corp has managed to hold on to the title of being the world's largest automaker.

The title for 2010 marks the third consecutive year Toyota has topped the heap, after claiming the crown from General Motors in 2008. GM had held the top spot for 77 consecutive years.

Including sales from brands like Scion and Lexus, not to mention Daihatsu and Hino, Toyota posted sales of 8.42 million units globally, up 8 percent from 2009.

General Motors placed second with 8.39 million units, up 12 percent, with strong growth of 29 percent in China – the world's largest auto market.

In third, with aspirations of being number one, is Volkswagen, with 7.14 million units moved, an increase of 14 percent. Volkswagen is looking for an additional 5 percent growth in 2011, which would put the German automaker at 7.50 million units.

More: Toyota Retains Top Spot as World's Largest Automaker on AutoGuide.com
 

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WOW.

Congrats to Toyota for making the top spot for sure, but what's really amazing is that between the top two, they sold almost 17 MILLION vehicles. That's a lot of cars!
 

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Toyota's numbers are even more impressive when you consider that GM has a large percentage of sales each year that are "a given" in that they're government purchased vehicles. Police forces too buy American exclusively, so that forces Toyota to be even more competitive in order to garner a much greater number of individual purchases.
 

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I don't think the American makes selling to fleets has much to do with it. Toyota does the same thing in Japan. The VAST majority of Toyota's sales are outside of the US.
 

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On second thought, I think you're correct, Jim. I just looked at the GSA statistics for fleet purchases and the numbers are about an order of magnitude below what I had previously thought. Scratch what I said earlier....:facepalm:
 
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