Repeating that GM outsold Toyota again and again means absolutely nothing. Once again, for the 50th time, the ONLY reason this occurred was due to a slash in production because parts suppliers for Japanese firms were shut down by the Tsunami. Please put this subject to rest because that's all there is to it.
In regards to the Aveo - well I drove one of those for a week last summer in Colorado. The car - plain and simple - is a joke - or rather "was" a joke, since GM was finally smart enough to get rid of it and replace it with the Cruze.
In GM's defense, the Cruze is built on the Delta II platform and produced globally. Those sold in the US are made in Lordstown Ohio. I have driven the Cruze, and it is by far 1,000% better than the Aveo. It's actually a pretty nice small car, so kudos to GM for actually releasing a good small car.
Toyota seldom outsells GM in the United States (if it ever has, actually). To think that the tsunami caused a loss of enough sales to offset GM's over twice as many cars sold is not logical. Even Toyota admits the tsunami had little to do with the May sales figures.
Check the percentages: Toyota sales would have had to have increased by over 120% to come even up to GM's May sales. No auto maker has a 120% increase in sales in one month, especially in this economy. Toyota sales have been down all year. No way did the tsunami make any really significant dent in sales.
National sales levels are what was being discussed. Toyota was up until very recently the No. 1 GLOBAL auto company. That was until the Tsunami crippled their production capacity. Sorry, but those are the facts. Either way, I don't care about sales. I care about quality. That is why I will only ever buy Toyotas. End of Story.
GM never replaced the Aveo with the Cruze. The Cruze is meant to be a compact. It is supposed to compete with the Civic, Corolla, Sentra, Focus, and Elantra. The Cruze is actually so big it may be considered mid size. The Aveo is a subcompact. It will be replaced with the Sonic. It is supposed to compete with the Accent, Fiesta, Fit, and Versa.
Also, the comment that GM never cared about small cars is correct. Check the history. They've always outsourced their sub - compact production to other companies. Suzuki, Daewoo, and even some others I'm unsure of. The last sub - compact they produced and built on their own was the Chevette. It's not exactly remembered as a great small car. Their intent and focus was to sell huge trucks and SUVs.
Chevettes were not bad cars, though. I had a 1984 Chevette many years ago that was one of the most reliable cars I ever owned. Every bit as good in the reliability department (maybe even a little better) than the Honda and Mitsubishi I own now, and the Chevette was actually BETTER than the 2 Toyotas that I have owned since.