• Dec 26, 2007
If it were poker, Toyota would have looked at GM, pushed all its chips into the pot and said, "You know what that means." The other marque in the battle for worldwide supremacy has raised its projection for 2008 sales by 5-percent over this year, expecting to sell 9.85 million cars around the world on production of 9.95 million cars. This year, 2007, GM is estimated to have sold 9.3 million cars, compared to Toyota's estimated sales of 9.36 million.
Even with quite a few analysts and outlets predicting fewer vehicle sales in the US next year, Toyota is predicting a 1-percent increase in sales to 2.64 million units. The bulk of the sales growth will, as with every other global player, comes largely from emerging markets: China, Russia, India, and South America. This, of course, means Toyota will be leaning on its smaller models and hybrids to lead the way.

There's no way GM has given up the fight, having held the #1 spot for 76 years, and still holding the record for most cars sold: 9.55 million in 1978. You can be sure they don't want to give up both top slots in one year. To do so, they'll need to deliver on the design, the efficiency, the reliability and promises they've been making to the public for a while. As Big John McCarthy says at the beginning of an Ultimate Fighting match, "Let's get it on!"

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      IIRC, the mentality at GM now is to improve its vehicles and become more efficient, rather than churning out a number of vehicles in order to maintain the rather useless title as "#1 automaker by volume". From Toyota's recent reliability downfalls, as well as horrible cars (the Corolla especially comes to mind, as well as the new xB replacement), I think that's a more admirable goal than world domination.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Think of where GM would have been if that was their goal from the start.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It seems that Toyota is now pursuing maximum market share, since those that don't know history seem doomed to repeat it. You would think that they would've learned something from the American automakers that pursuing maximum market share can turn out to be a dark and disturbing path.

        I mean, they can always dump more Siennas and Camrys into fleet sales. That always works to bump up numbers and claim bragging rights. And of course, the bad ramifications of that will never happen to THEM.
      • 7 Years Ago

      So does this mean that for the year 2007 Toyota has the highest sales? I thought that GM had regained its #1 status and and was still number one in full year sales. This is really a sad moment for me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think we'll only know for sure who sold more once the year is over and all the official numbers are in... it'll be a close one though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm no Toyota fan, but kudos to them for doing so well in the marketplace. If they want to keep selling many vehicles however, they must sort out their quality control issues. Toyota's reputation was built largely on quality... lord knows there isn't anything sporty or exciting in their lineup. Too many recalls in the entire auto industry this year, and Toyota had their fair share.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sure, been hearing this BS for 2 years now. When it happens, if it happens, then it simply happens. Even if done they won't hold on to it longer than GM has. The other stumbling block for Toyota, China, still years of bad image to get past there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      9.55 million GM vehicles sold in 1978...

      That is a scary figure. 9.55 million pieces of crap on the roads. Just from one year.

      GM have improved since then, but they were bad cars in the late 70s/early 80s.
        • 7 Years Ago
        right. because we all know that honda and toyota were the paragons of quality in 1978.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had a 2001 Toyota Rav4 as my first car and after a few months I, unfortunately, totalled it. My next car was a year old '04 Rav4 and that car has been nothing but horrible. Now, a little over 2 years after first getting this car, I'm trading it in this weekend and will NEVER buy another Toyota. My mom needed a new car and all she wanted a cheap little thing so I bought her a brand new Toyota Yaris and that is the worst car I've ever been in. Their quality has deteriorated faster than Ford can say "We've improved our quality... slightly." Toyota's a joke now. After I trade mine in this weekend, I'm buying her a different car too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        People with agendas against Toyota (ie. Blake) making up stories about cars they've never owned. How quaint.

        Even if your story was true, too bad only idiots would take your anecdotal evidence seriously. That generation of RAV4 is ranked as very reliable by Consumer Reports.

        Also, don't give me that BS about how CR is "soo totally biased against domestic manufacturers". That argument folds up like a cardboard box and anyone that believes it looses all credibility in these old eyes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Our rav-4 has been flawless. I am sorry but I don't believe your post!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The real question is how long can they hold it if they get it? Let's look at a few factors:

      Do you honestly think the new administration which won't be Bush and Cheney (who really don't care about any except lining their pockets) will want to dump on the US automakers as a first order or business?

      Add that to the impending Dollar adjustment to 80-90 Yen and Toyota will have to take nearly a complete loss on US sales or raise prices. That means a car that costs $25,000 will have to be sold at $34,000 to make the same profit. Extend that to all of the Japanese offerings and - ouch.

      Fiat & Alfa and even Renault are all considering re-entering the US market and they make what? Big SUVs - um no. Even a little competition in the small car segments will dilute Toyota sales quite a bit.

      The Smart cars, BMW 1 series and MB A class - think those won't have any effect on Toyota in US? Even fellow countryman Honda is looking to hit Toyota in the Hybrid market.

      The Japanese economy is heading for another recession and even "slow to move" GM and Ford are bringing small cars to US 2008. Since most of Toyota's gains are in the under mid-sized market it will be easy for Big Three to hit them where it hurts. A little island nation that imports almost all of its' natural resources might feel a pinch as the world economy changes in the worst way for them.

      Factor in the end of the line for tons of tax incentives that all the foreign makes got to build plants here in the US and you can see a very bleak picture for the next 3-4 years. If you lived in a State where Toyota built a plant, would you stand idle while they continued to get big tax breaks so they can make big profits while your property/school taxes went up, year after year?

      GM has beaten Toyota in the race to be successful in nearly every new market outside of Europe the US. Those will be the places where GM will fight the hardest. As for the US market – well, I think our time as the "Breadbasket" for automaker profits is coming to an end.

      Overall, I think Toyota's plans are optimistic at best. Everyone last year at this time were predicting Toyota would have GM bankrupt and dead - funny how wrong those statements were.

      Heaven help Toyota if Ford or Chrysler makes a quick turnaround (less than 3-4 years) that would be the nail in their "We're #1" coffin.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is rather stupid for both GM and Toyota to fight for the NO 1 Positon in Sales. What really matters is which company is more profitable and has a higher share value. The winner hands down is Toyota. They make quality cars and make huge profits and their market value is 10 times that of GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jon,

        I suspect you own Toyota stock or am I to believe you make your purchases based on the Market Valuation of manufacturer?

        I think my comment addressed the difference in market cap as currency disparity, tax incentives and yes, much higher operating profits over the last 5 years.

        In the 90's when Toyota had a fraction of GM's market cap did you only buy GM's cars since they were the stronger company? I'd hope not.

        Toyota stock is down 26% on the year shows no signs of rebounding. If they fall back down to the 40's and GM rises above that, should the consumer care? I think they will still buy what they want.

        The sad fact is the average consumer buys what they are TOLD and doesn't know squat about engineering or design. Even basic math like lifetime value or Cost to Own is too much for them to factor in, thus the Prius paradox.

        The American Automobile consumer is an exercise in control. The Japanese beat the Americans at their own game of "Control the Media to Sell Cars" which is just frightening but true.

        In the future I can that changes but the future generations appear to be more sheepish than ever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The other marque in the battle for worldwide supremacy has raised its projection for 2008 sales by 5-percent over this year, expecting to sell 9.85 million cars around the world on production of 9.95 million cars."
      But, you're forgetting that Volkswagen's going to outsell them both by 2010. If you don't believe it, just ask them.
      I'm going to wait and buy a flying pig.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ha ha... see you in Hell after if freezes over and we can try to roast that pig for heat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Toyota keeps promoting insurance fraud (crushing, wrecking or dumping your vehicle in the river) I think they will get there!
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