We’ve all seen the rivalries between automotive manufactures. Every year, companies compete for the highest sales numbers and customer loyalties through the use of latest technologies and new models. Nothing was different in 2011, that is except for the brand that came out on top. According to the BBC, General Motors fans have something to celebrate because the major Detroit company has risen to the number one vehicle manufacturer slot in the world.

Chevrolet's record sales numbers helped GM become the world's top automotive manufacturer in 2011

Every January, automotive manufactures release their sales numbers from the previous year. This year, GM had some impressive news to share, releasing sales numbers that were 7.6 percent higher than those from 2010. That rise in sales translated to almost 9 million vehicles sold; a considerable leap on the prospected 7.9 million vehicles sold by Toyota, who took the lead manufacture position from GM back in 2008.

While GM is celebrating, at least one other vehicle manufacturer is disputing the company’s sales claims. Volkswagen, one of GM’s rivals, is claiming that they are in fact the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer with 8.1 million vehicles sold in 2011. Volkswagen’s argument is that GM padded their sales figures with numbers from their Chinese partners while Volkswagen didn’t include sales from MAN and Scania, which they have majority stakes in. The theory is that without numbers from GM’s Chinese partners, the Detroit manufacturer would have 2011 sales numbers less than VW.

While this may be a valid argument, Vivek Vaidya of Frost & Sullivan told the BBC, “If GM have added figures of companies in China, which they are pretty much a part of in terms of day-to-day running, then there is nothing wrong in it.”

2011 brought many notable moments for GM, including Chevrolet's 100th anniversary and the debut of the fifth-gen Camaro ZL1

It seems that the only thing that would be shady is if GM added numbers from companies that they don’t have much of a role in. GM is claiming that with their vehicle sales and those of their Chinese partners, the company’s overall sales numbers jumped 8.3 percent in the last year, leaving us to assume the 7.6 percent rise in sale they reported is from the American manufacturer only.

GM’s 2011 sales numbers come as good news to the company that just three years ago was facing bankruptcy. Thanks to a $52 billion bailout, the Detroit giant has bounced back and then some. Due to the government’s aid to the company back in 2008, however, the U.S. Treasury still owns 30 percent of GM’s shares. Since the bailout, GM has seen increasing sales and has invested in new markets.

Whatever GM is doing, it seems to be working. We’re excited to see GM on top once again and look forward to seeing what the future brings for the top automotive manufacturer in the world.