It has emerged that Toyota ended 2010 as the world’s biggest carmaker, despite a long series of recalls and safety issues.
Figures show that the Japanese company’s sales reached 8.42 million vehicles, which means they marginally beat General Motors’ total of 8.39 million.
These figures come as particularly groundbreaking news for Toyota, as they have now dethroned its American rival as the world’s biggest carmaker in 2008 – a position General Motors’ held for nearly 80 years.
The news might come as a shock to the Japanese company, which previously had an impeccable reputation for quality until 2009’s backlash. 2009 was the year Toyota saw its image suffer, particularly in America where it was the only major carmaker to see sales fall in 2010.
Falls in sales are most likely to be down to their record number of recalls. Toyota recalled more than 10 million vehicles around the world for issues ranging from faulty floor mats to computer software faults.
Toyota’s North American sales last year saw a 2% drop from 2009, with 1.94 million vehicles sold.
However, the company’s sales in Japan rose 10% to 2.20 million vehicles, with the Prius emerging as its best-selling model.
Meanwhile, General Motors, which underwent a major restructuring in 2010, saw sales rise 12.2%, with a 28.8% jump in China. Sales in America rose 6.3%.