In a related article I told you General Motors Co. said it sold 9.03 million vehicles worldwide last year, an increase of 7.6 percent from 2010.
Depending on how you count minority-owned affiliates and truck companies, and if you include vehicles such as microvans sold in China, either GM or VW was the world’s biggest seller last year.
GM’s results put it about 1 million units ahead of Volkswagen Group, which believes it should be No. 1.
The Wall Street Journal reported that VW feels it would be the top-seller last year if sales of all of its affiliates were included.
VW’s figures don’t count sales from truckmakers MAN and Scania, which will be added in a few weeks, a Volkswagen spokesman told the newspaper.
The truckmakers might add 200,000 vehicles to VW’s sales total.
Rivals and some analysts also argue that GM’s numbers are inflated by sales from its China partnerships with SAIC Motor Corp. and Wuling Motors Co.
Wuling sales, which totaled 1.29 million microvans last year, are excluded from GM’s total in some tallies because GM holds a minority stake, 44 percent, in the partnership.
Likewise, GM has a 49 percent stake in its other big Chinese joint venture, Shanghai General Motors Corp., which sold 1.20 million units in China last year.
China’s investment rules restrict foreign automakers to a maximum 50 percent stake in their Chinese joint ventures.
Volkswagen sold 8.16 million vehicles in 2011, an increase of 11 percent.
More than 2.2 million of those sales came from China, where VW holds a 50 percent share of Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive and a share of FAW-Volkswagen Automotive.
That stake is listed on the FAW-VW web site as 40 percent; press reports last year said it is scheduled to rise to 49 percent.