Who’s Number One? Volkswagen Disputes GM’s 2011 Sales Claim

Just days after General Motors proclaimed it was the top-selling automaker of 2011, the Volkswagen Group is crying foul. The German automaker says that, once it includes sales figures for truck divisions MAN and Scania, Volkswagen’s 2011 sales will eclipse those of GM.

GM announced earlier this week that in 2011 it sold 9.03 million vehicles globally, a gain of 7.6 percent compared to 2010. Those figures would position GM as the world’s largest automaker for 2011; Volkswagen Group said it sold 8.16 million vehicles globally last year, up 14.3 percent year-over-year and most likely positioning the company as the second-largest automaker of 2011.

Now Volkswagen is disputing the claims and suggesting that it bested GM last year. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen’s 8.16-million figure doesn’t include sales from commercial truck divisions MAN and Scania. Once those figures are added, it will significantly bolster VW’s annual sales tally.

On top of that, GM’s sales figure was padded with about one million sales by Chinese automakers SAIC Motor Corp. and Wuling Motors Co. — companies with which GM has joint ventures, but in which the American company does not have a controlling stake. If those sales were excluded and VW’s truck figures added, Volkswagen would probably steal the global sales crown from GM.

In 2011, the Volkswagen Group (which includes Audi and Bentley) sold 444,300 vehicles in the U.S., a gain of 23.3 percent compared to 2010. At the same time, General Motors sold 2.5 million vehicles here last year, an increase of 13 percent versus 2010. The best-selling GM product was the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, while Volkswagen’s best U.S. sales came from the new Jetta sedan.

Sources: Automotive News, Volkswagen

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado

2012 Chevrolet Silverado

MSRP $39,640 1500 Hybrid Base 2WD Crew Cab


15 City / 20 Hwy

Towing (Max):

9,100 lbs.

Payload (Max):

1,940 lbs.