Due to a predicted decrease in output at General Motors for 2009, it is expected that the U.S. automaker will be surpassed by German rival Volkswagen AG by the end of this year.
The news comes from industry market research firm R.L. Polk Germany and is based on overall production numbers. Polk envisions an annual decline in production for General Motors to be approximately 31 percent, as compared to a decline of just 15 percent to Volkswagen, which won’t take as hard a hit due mostly to it’s limited involvement in the U.S. market.
If Polk’s estimates are correct then GM will slip to third position overall with Volkswagen taking up the second-place spot behind Toyota. The General appears to be standing on a slippery slope, as up until this year it laid claim to being the world’s largest automaker for 77 straight years. Then in January came the news that Toyota had out-produced GM with 8.97 million vehicles compared to 8.36 for GM.