David asks, "Why has Toyota just surpassed GM as the number one auto seller in the world?" I didn't know the numbers were confirmed because just a few days ago Toyota officials were beaming at the promise of overtaking GM in 2007. Toyota says expects to sell close to 8.9 million vehicles worldwide in 2006. GM doesn't forecast worldwide sales but the company sold almost 9.2 million in 2005. As far as I know there hasn't been an official proclamation anointing Toyota as the world's leader.
David's observations are quite biased and not reflective of the entire auto industry. Consumers are still interested in large vehicles, so much so that Toyota is banking $100 million marketing campaign on the launch of its full-size Tundra.
I agree with David that some of Lutz's comments were unfounded, but he hasn't destroyed the company. And as for all those technologies "sitting on the shelf," I've seen many of them and they ain't cheap. I'm very eager to drive the new two-mode hybrids that will appear in GM's full-size SUVs very soon. If the vehicle gets an honest 25 percent improvement in fuel economy, then GM deserves a pat on the back. But I wonder if David will be there with her switch, continuing to rail on Lutz for building full-size vehicles, or if she'll appreciate the effort.
[Source: Laurie David / Huffington Post]