US carmakers posted strong numbers for car sales in April 2011 while Japanese carmakers struggled with the disruptions caused by the 2011 T?hoku earthquake.

General Motors sold 232,538 vehicles in the US, up from 26.6 percent compared to April 2010.  Ford sold 189,284, up 16.3 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, Toyota sold only 159,540 cars in the US, up just 1.3 percent from last year.  By growing at only a fraction of the pace of GM and Ford, it has given up noticeable market share to its American competitors.  In addition, Toyota and other Japanese carmakers has lost market share to Koream and European carmakers in Japanese, US and other markets.

Since the T?hoku earthquake struck on March 11, Japanese carmakers suffered massive lost production totaling in hundreds of thousands of vehicles.  The production disruptions aren’t just confined to Japan – the lack of car parts coming out of Japan has also limited production elsewhere.

Toyota and Honda don’t expect to return to full capacity until the end of 2011.