Last week, American auto giant General Motors retook a position that it had lost to Japanese automaker Toyota four winters ago, by becoming the world’s largest automaker once again. Previously, Volkswagen had inched past the natural disaster embattled Toyota by becoming the second largest automaker putting 8.16 million automobiles on the roads. Now though, Volkswagen feels that the number 1 sport should belong to it and now General Motors. Volkswagen claims that it will add 200,000 more vehicles to that number when sales numbers of its commercial vehicles division are out.
Even so, it would take much more than that to displace General Motors from the top spot as the American automaker has sold over 9.03 million vehicles, and his includes the 2.5 million plus sales from its Chinese partnerships with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation’s(SAIC) Wuling and Shanghai-General Motors, both companies in which GM holds minority stock. So, if 2.5 million vehicles are subtracted from GM’s 2011 numbers, the car maker will not just be inched out of first spot, but will even end up below the current third placed Toyota, which sold about 7.9 million units.
General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson has downplayed the whole numbers game by saying that profitability and not numbers are what counts for GM and that sentiment was echoed by GM’s spokesperson, Jim Cain, who said and we quote,
Our goal is to be the best, not necessarily the biggest. If we had announced plans on world domination, we probably would have been quibbling with the sales of our competitors and that’s as far removed from focusing on the customers as you can get.
Volkswagen for it part has made no bones about its intention of becoming the biggest automaker in the world with plans of selling over 10 million units each by 2018 or even earlier. Closer home, a similar spectacle is unfolding in the two wheeler market. Industry leader Hero MotoCorp leads the field with the highest two wheeler sales globally. Bajaj Auto which is in second place says that profitability and not numbers is what it is looking at. On the other hand, Honda is gunning for the top spot in India by 2020, and is coming up with an aggressive strategy to achieve those numbers. The battles, both in the two wheeler and our wheeler space are getting exciting. We, at ICB will bring you a ringside view of all the thrills. Stay glued!