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General Motors regains position as world’s best-selling carmaker

Company that bounced back from bankruptcy less than three years ago sold 9.026m vehicles last year

General Motors regained its mantle as the world’s top-selling carmaker from Toyota last year, but faces a challenge to stay on top this year as its rival rebuilds its business after being affected by disasters in both Japan and Thailand.

GM, which has bounced back from bankruptcy less than three years ago, said on Thursday that it sold 9.026m vehicles last year, up 7.6% from 2010, with its Chevrolet brand setting a sales record of 4.76m.

The Detroit-based carmaker’s return to the top comes after its 2009 taxpayer-funded bankruptcy restructuring allowed it to cut spiralling legacy costs.

Toyota’s sales fell an estimated 6% in 2011 to 7.9m, hit by severe production cuts following an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan and deadly floods in Thailand.

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