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Toyota, GM in pitched battle for #1

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Toyota lags General Motors in second-quarter sales
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Associated Press | Link to Original Article @ Detroit News


TOKYO -- Toyota slipped behind General Motors in global sales in the second quarter but retained its lead for the first half of the year, numbers showed today, as the two companies jostle for the title of world's biggest automaker.

The figures -- and sales growth rates -- indicate that Toyota could overtake GM as the No. 1 automaker, a title the U.S. giant has held for 76 years. Typically, rankings are determined by full-year production figures, not sales, so that distinction will have to wait until data is tallied for the entire year.

Toyota Motor Corp. said worldwide sales in the April-June quarter totaled 2.37 million vehicles, while GM said its global sales reached 2.41 million, according to preliminary numbers.

In the first quarter, Toyota sold more cars and trucks around the world than GM for the first time ever -- 2.35 million vehicles to GM's 2.27 million.

But strong growth at General Motors Corp. in Latin America, Asia and other emerging markets lifted sales by 0.4 percent in the most recent quarter, again putting it ahead of Toyota.

The Japanese manufacturer said its quarterly sales rose at a much faster rate of 7 percent. Many analysts expect that Toyota will surpass GM in both sales and production for the full year.

Figures tallying sales for the first six months of the year give Toyota the edge, 4.72 million vehicles sold compared with the 4.67 million for GM.

"Toyota is making a solid move to the top," said Shigeru Matsumura, an auto analyst with SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo. "The company's comprehensive strength in the fields of production, technology and sales has been made over a long spell. Its solid footing is stronger than that of GM's."

The Toyota City-based automaker has snatched U.S. market share away from Detroit automakers as the surge in oil prices has increased demand for Toyota's fuel-efficient models, including the Corolla, Camry and hybrid Prius.

A decade ago, GM controlled about a third of the U.S. market while Toyota had barely 8 percent. Today, GM's share has dwindled to 24 percent, while Toyota's has climbed to more than 15 percent, a market share comparable to Ford Motor Co.

But Toyota's success has triggered concern among its executives of a political backlash in the United States. Lawmakers from manufacturing states claim the Japanese government has kept the yen artificially low, giving Japanese automakers an advantage.

Some U.S. legislators also criticize Toyota for importing nearly half the vehicles it sells in the United States. Last year, Toyota imported 46 percent of its U.S. sales.

To deflect criticism, Toyota has steadily expanded production capacity in the U.S., in April breaking ground in Tupelo, Mississippi, for its eighth vehicle assembly plant in North America, the fourth in five years. The factory is set to begin production in 2010.

A series of recent recalls has also raised some doubts whether Toyota can maintain quality standards as its global sales expand rapidly. Toyota executives have repeatedly expressed concerns about sliding quality and have promised to strengthen quality controls.

GM, meanwhile, is seeing its biggest sales grow outside the United States. Its sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East grew 19.7 percent during the quarter, while sales in Asia rose 8.2 percent. Sales in Europe rose 4.7 percent, while sales in North American fell 7 percent, the company said.

In the first quarter, Toyota's group global production totaled 2.37 million vehicles, slightly more than GM's 2.34 million. Toyota is set to release second quarter output numbers later this month.

In 2006, Toyota's global production was about 9 million vehicles, while GM and its affiliates produced 9.18 million vehicles worldwide.
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I've been thinking.

People who are loyal to GM, generally don't buy Ford or Chrysler, right? They are loyal to GM only.

People who are loyal to Toyota, would probably still consider a Honda or Nissan, because they're actually just loyal to the image of a high-quality Japanese car, and not Toyota in particular.

So, it would be easier for Honda and Nissan to steal sales away from Toyota than from GM, specially with the new Accord around the corner. I think some new GM vehicles like the Aura and Malibu will steal sales back from Japanese makes as well.

Am I just crazy for thinking this way?

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You're pretty much correct. Most mainstream Japanese loyalists appreciate the aura of a Japanese car, not necessarily that of a specific manufacturer.

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I've been thinking.

People who are loyal to GM, generally don't buy Ford or Chrysler, right? They are loyal to GM only.

People who are loyal to Toyota, would probably still consider a Honda or Nissan, because they're actually just loyal to the image of a high-quality Japanese car, and not Toyota in particular.

So, it would be easier for Honda and Nissan to steal sales away from Toyota than from GM, specially with the new Accord around the corner. I think some new GM vehicles like the Aura and Malibu will steal sales back from Japanese makes as well.

Am I just crazy for thinking this way?

You're not crazy, but you're missing the bigger picture.

GM, Ford & Chrysler have their fans, which are declining in number each year. The Japanese makes have their fans, which generally speaking, have been growing for many years. Many of these fans WILL NOT step into one of the Big 2.8's stores---they've written off American products COMPLETELY.

So net-net, Honda may steal some Camry sales, but a large portion of the population is simply never coming back. The best you can hope for is to keep Big 2.8 loyalists and sway some 2nd tier import buyers (Mazda, Mitsu, VW)

Every other manufacturer has an opportunity to pick that sale up, unfortunately.

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You're pretty much correct. Most mainstream Japanese loyalists appreciate the aura of a Japanese car, not necessarily that of a specific manufacturer.

i like and buy both GM and ford.

there are hondaphiles that only buy honda. i do think toyodaphiles cross over to honda sometimes.

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You're not crazy, but you're missing the bigger picture.

GM, Ford & Chrysler have their fans, which are declining in number each year. The Japanese makes have their fans, which generally speaking, have been growing for many years. Many of these fans WILL NOT step into one of the Big 2.8's stores---they've written off American products COMPLETELY.

So net-net, Honda may steal some Camry sales, but a large portion of the population is simply never coming back. The best you can hope for is to keep Big 2.8 loyalists and sway some 2nd tier import buyers (Mazda, Mitsu, VW)

Every other manufacturer has an opportunity to pick that sale up, unfortunately.

my buddy who got his impala cracked up who i have been painfully coaching on a new car this week finally admitted today he doesn't want a ford or GM this time.

purely because of image.

his impala was fine. he admitted there was nothing bad about the impala.

it's fashion, is what it is. his flavor of the day car today was VW. yesterday mazda. he repeatedly ignored me telling him mazda=ford. because it has a japanese name.

he is another example of one of the millions who have never had a japanese car who feel or have been told they are missing out because they do not drive japanese. so now he will be switching over. we'll see if he and the other millions will be as convinced in 4 years. but it is a current phenomenon that simply cannot be stopped.

he was almost ready top pull the trigger on a 03 accord 4 cyl with 62 thou miles on it for 14 grand because 'its so well rated'.

dammit. he's 2 grand from a brand fricking new G6 SV. He wanted nothing to do with that. Wanted nothing to do with an Aura. Fusion. nothing.

Edited by regfootball
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It would appear to be an avalanche, but it is important not to get bogged down in the Chicken Little Syndrome. I encounter customers all the time who are driving 10 year old GM products, who admit their vehicle has been great, but they are getting pressure from friends and family to "buy an import." A lot of these people can be swayed with an honest, frank discussion on the "why" of the reluctance to buy GM again. One of the biggest challenges it just to get them in the store. It is just a pendulum that happens to be swinging against Detroit these days. Barring any catastrophes, GM and Ford's fortunes should bottom out and recover.

A surprising number of people are still looking for the "deal," and Honda/Toyota are not offering enough of those these days. The unfortunate part there is that Ford, GM and Chrysler end up duking it out over the "deal" customer. A little of what we are seeing now, particularly with a lot of Japanese apologists is just rats jumping off what they perceive is a sinking ship.

Sigh. As I have said countless times, when GM had 40+% market share, it had nowhere else to go but DOWN. Too much of what I see being taught in Business 101 these days is that there must always be an improvement next quarter. From a purely mathematical standpoint, that is practically impossible. GM will settle out at 20% in North America, I predict, and provided a couple clouds on the horizon are avoided, will be profitable at that mark.

Import humpers will get exhausted preaching to the choir, and turn like a pack of rabid dogs on Toyota, now that it is one of the big boys.

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In the first quarter, Toyota's group global production totaled 2.37 million vehicles, slightly more than GM's 2.34 million. Toyota is set to release second quarter output numbers later this month.

Wow do you realize that the difference is 30,000 vehicles produced?! Not sold but produced! GM could easily pull out a few stops and bump Impala production 30k and be tied but instead they are limiting the sales to keep residuals high and quality up. That may seem like a bad thing but I think that is a good thing. It shows more commitment to the long term.
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Wow do you realize that the difference is 30,000 vehicles produced?! Not sold but produced! GM could easily pull out a few stops and bump Impala production 30k and be tied but instead they are limiting the sales to keep residuals high and quality up. That may seem like a bad thing but I think that is a good thing. It shows more commitment to the long term.

you've got to remember last quarter toyota did everything they could to pull people out of 06's and what not to put them into an 07... they are, as we would say at the dealership, burning customers...

if you just got your car a year ago or so... and toyota says... hey the leasing program allows you to pull out now!

i'd look at them like wtf... why do you want me to get out of this vehicle so fast...

i dont beleive toyota can maintain the top spot...

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"Pitched battle" describes the situation perfectly, and I expect it to remain such for the forseeable future. Neither combatant will have a firm hold on the number 1 spot for years to come.

The "analists" don't get it.

Also, let's not forget a few aspects of this battle. GM is on a major rise everywhere else in the world, and new competitors are nipping at Toyota's heels causing them to fight on two fronts.

There won't be a conclusive winner here for quite some time.

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Don't forget that the failure of Ford, Chrysler, or VW, could shift the market in a huge way.

GM is easily the strongest domestic and stands to gain hugely if one of the others goes down.

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I like how it was assumed that after being beaten in one quarter by Toyota, GM would just roll over and die...... that all future quarters automatically were awarded to Toyota.

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I like how it was assumed that after being beaten in one quarter by Toyota, GM would just roll over and die...... that all future quarters automatically were awarded to Toyota.

Yeah, that's pretty much the thinking by all the Toyota fanboys as well. Some seem to think Toyota is only capable of exponential growth and the domestics will quietly just crawl into hibernation never to be heard from again. It must be nice to live in a Cloud 9 fantasy world like that.
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you know, the way the veracruz has been compared vs. the lexus rx and such, it seems to be a tipping point that hyundai has achieved with the asian car lovers. hyundai will eat away at toyota's share big time. hyundai and kia should excel without taking too much away from GM

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Wow do you realize that the difference is 30,000 vehicles produced?! Not sold but produced! GM could easily pull out a few stops and bump Impala production 30k and be tied but instead they are limiting the sales to keep residuals high and quality up. That may seem like a bad thing but I think that is a good thing. It shows more commitment to the long term.

I agree.

Chris

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It would appear to be an avalanche, but it is important not to get bogged down in the Chicken Little Syndrome. I encounter customers all the time who are driving 10 year old GM products, who admit their vehicle has been great, but they are getting pressure from friends and family to "buy an import." A lot of these people can be swayed with an honest, frank discussion on the "why" of the reluctance to buy GM again. One of the biggest challenges it just to get them in the store. It is just a pendulum that happens to be swinging against Detroit these days. Barring any catastrophes, GM and Ford's fortunes should bottom out and recover.

A surprising number of people are still looking for the "deal," and Honda/Toyota are not offering enough of those these days. The unfortunate part there is that Ford, GM and Chrysler end up duking it out over the "deal" customer. A little of what we are seeing now, particularly with a lot of Japanese apologists is just rats jumping off what they perceive is a sinking ship.

Sigh. As I have said countless times, when GM had 40+% market share, it had nowhere else to go but DOWN. Too much of what I see being taught in Business 101 these days is that there must always be an improvement next quarter. From a purely mathematical standpoint, that is practically impossible. GM will settle out at 20% in North America, I predict, and provided a couple clouds on the horizon are avoided, will be profitable at that mark.

Import humpers will get exhausted preaching to the choir, and turn like a pack of rabid dogs on Toyota, now that it is one of the big boys.

Unfortunatly it's these owners of 10 year old GM products that compare a New Toyota/Honda against thier 10 year old GM/Ford product. Why they don't compare thier 10 yr old domestic against a new domestic is beyond me. Wifey's 8 yr old 217.000 mile Alero is doing great, both powertrain and body. The front of the hood is rusting and the dash vinyl has started pulling away due to setting out in the sun for most of it's life but what can you expect with a 8 year old-217k mile behicle? I have just recently had to replace a broken coil spring, and replaced struts/strut bearings since I was pulling it all out to replace the coil spring. It had a leaky oil pressure sending unit at around 90k miles. That's about it.... Oh yeah, and it' get's a consistant 30-33 mpg's.... 29mpg's on a bad week. Currently a good used G6 will be in our not too distant future.

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