• Aug 10, 2009
The global auto sales downturn has been as painful as it's been swift, but a report from Yomiuri shows that the worst of times may be over. The Japanese news agency (via Automotive News) reports that Toyota has raised its vehicle production forecast upwards by 3% to 6.5 million units. That's still a far cry from Toyota's amazing 2008, yet the positive adjustment is still worth over 300,000 units of additional production.

That's welcome news to Toyota's manufacturing facilities around the world, as the drop in sales in the first half of 2009 left the Japanese automaker with far too much inventory. With the upward revision of production for the rest of the year, factories could be running more steadily.

While Toyota appears to be back on the upswing, it's facing renewed pressure from General Motors for the top spot in global sales. In the first half of 2009, GM closed the gap in overall production to only 11,000 units versus Toyota, a far cry from the 274,000 unit differential in the first half of 2008. GM, which struggled more than most in the US during the first half of the year, had far stronger results in emerging markets like China and South America, with overall sales down 21 during the same period. Volkswagen also made a big jump compared to Toyota, as the German automaker's sales dropped only 5.1% in the first half of the year. VW is now within 500,000 units of Toyota during the first six months of the year.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems that in the auto industry (or in business in general), the mighty always fall.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am amazed at how little coverage Toyota's fall is getting in the mainstream press. This isn't just the economy. If it was they would be losing sales but not market share. When they are losing market share to GM (while GM was in bankruptcy) you know they are in trouble. Their lineup has gotten stale and they have nothing anyone would be excited to drive (except perhaps the Prius for greenabes). The Toyota brand has completely missed the return of the fun to drive RWD cars (Camaro, Challenger, Genesis).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you guys have to realize that Toyota doesn't quite need to have the top production numbers to regain profitability, so they're purposely not running the production lines at full capacity (aka old GM style).
        If you look at the incentives Toyota has been giving compared to other automakers it's pretty obvious that they're basically refusing to go down the production volume trail of tears.
        Toyota is projecting profitability by next year and they really don't care about being #1 in volume anymore. Even if GM becomes the #1 volume king again what does that prove exactly? The #1 volume king is also the same company that just had to file for bankruptcy, which pretty much proves that being #1 in volume means nothing if you can't keep your company running.
        At any rate Toyota's likely to be a hell of a lot more profitable next year than GM is, no matter how many cars GM sells.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But so long as GM keeps rocking China, then I agree with you, shethj. It has a good chance of surpassing Toyota. But it would be only temporally as the global economy improves.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, but Toyota has only been #1 since 2008. Usually you stay on top for more than one year. Especially when the media has been calling for you to be #1 for the last half decade and was predicting that you would be WAY ahead of GM within the near future. American auto journalists are lemmings and refuse to engage in independent thought. Gm is stronger than Toyota in China and Toyota has penetrated every segment of the US market. When you put those two facts together you see that there was no guarantee Toyota was going to run away from GM. I would say GM's chances of passing them this year are strong. Toyota has no new product in the US outside of the PRius and RX. GM has Equinox, Terrain, CTS wagon, SRX and Lacrosse for 2010.
        • 5 Years Ago
        shethj, just because GM has all those fresh products coming doesn't mean they'll be game changers. GM still has a reputation problem dragging it down, regardless of the quality of its products. These new products will make a dent, but only a small one. But, hey, it's a starting point.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You all are missing the point. If Toyota (and others) are now forecasting upwards, this is good news for the world economy. We may be climbing out of this mess.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shameless plug?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota now says that being number one in quantity isn't longer their aim:

      http://www.autospies.com/news/Refocus-Toyota-Offically-Abandons-Quest-to-Be-Number-One-Globally-46810/
      • 5 Years Ago
      You should try http://www.getlost.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota needs to not worry about the sales crown. At this point they just need to work on their product line and making sure it's the best it can be. Not the most they can be.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe AB is using the same metrics to count sales as GM and other publications. Nothing nefarious on their part. Those who can read would note the story came from Automotive News- a respected industry publication.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM FTW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ok, Spammy Mr.Spamster
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's funny how the No1 in cars sales still be in the green and the No2 in car sales world wide went bankrupt....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gm already designed new sports cars for the US...
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