For the first time in its 102-year history, General Motors’ largest market isn’t the United States, but China. The company sold more cars and trucks there than it did in the US in 2010, managing 2.35 million vehicles sold, 136,000 more than that shifted in the US.

Shanghai GM achieved 1.03 million of the total figure, with GM’s other joint ventures accounting for the rest. In total, the number is a 29% increase from 2009. China, of course, is the world’s biggest automotive market – passenger car sales in 2009 amounted to 13.7 million vehicles, with total vehicle sales registering above 18 million.

Total global sales for the US automaker was 8.39 million, up by 12% over 2009, and though it is still in the world No. 2 spot behind Toyota, it’s virtually a case of neck and neck – the Japanese automaker reported a global sales volume of 8.42 million units in 2010, just 30,000 more than GM. In China, Toyota managed to sell 846,000 units, just over a third of what GM accomplished.

GM reported double-digit jumps in five of its top 10 markets in 2010, including a 12.4% increase in Russia and a 10.4% jump in Brazil.

Still, China remains the bright star, and the company isn’t going to take its foot off the pedal, planning to export US$900 million in vehicles and parts to the country under a two-year agreement signed with Shanghai GM, its flagship JV.

Vehicle exports worth US$500 million and components worth US$400 million will come under the agreement, which was among various trade and investment deals signed in connection with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the US.