published Thursday, September 8th, 2011

GM, VW, Toyota battle for No. 1

You may remember when Chevrolet and Ford competed mightily each year in trying to lead the car market. There were, and are, other big-selling American brands, too.

But times change, and for the first half of 2011, Germany-based Volkswagen passed Japan-based Toyota to become the No. 2 car manufacturer in the world.

"Our" U.S.-based General Motors is on top. GM had worldwide sales of 4.5 million in the first six months of the year. That compares with 4.1 million vehicles sold worldwide by Volkswagen and 3.7 million sold by Toyota. (Toyota was at the top in 2010.)

But some of those national distinctions are at least a little fuzzy. Many "German" and "Japanese" cars are now made in America -- including some VWs made here in Chattanooga.

Volkswagen says it wants to have the highest number of worldwide sales within seven years. Undoubtedly, GM, Toyota and other automakers are also going to strive to be at the top.

Who'll win? Who knows? But we're glad that so many GM, VW and Toyota cars are made in America.

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