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Satty

GM Loses Global Sales Title to Toyota

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GM loses sales title to Toyota

GM's sales fell 10.8% in 2008. GM sold 610,000 fewer cars than Toyota, making it the first time in nearly 80 years that GM was not top in global sales.

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Last Updated: January 21, 2009: 9:35 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors lost the title of world's largest automaker to rival Toyota Motor in 2008, according to sales figures released Wednesday by the troubled U.S. automaker. It was the first time in nearly 80 years that GM did not sell the most cars in the world.

GM (GM, Fortune 500) reported that global sales plunged 10.8% for the year to 8.36 million vehicles. That allowed Toyota ™ to move ahead of GM with sales of 8.97 million vehicles worldwide.

And GM said the outlook for sales in its core U.S. market is not likely to improve anytime soon.

GM sales analyst Mike DiGiovanni said during a conference call Wednesday morning that the seasonally-adjusted annual U.S. sales rate will fall below 10 million vehicles in January. That would be the first time below that benchmark since 1982.

Industrywide U.S. sales came in just over the 10 million sales pace in each month of the last quarter of 2008 despite a sharp plunge in demand that left sales down 35% from year ago levels.

DiGiovanni attributed the new low for U.S. industrywide sales to a sharp drop in fleet sales to businesses, such as rental car companies, rather than further weakness in consumer sales.

He added that the decision by GM, Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) to trim first quarter production due to weak sales is leading to the drop in fleet sales, and that retail sales should be at or slightly above sales seen in the fourth quarter.

DiGiovanni said the company is hopeful that economic stimulus plans being considered in the United States as well as in other nations should hopefully help sales later this year. But he cautioned that "2009 will be a very difficult year."

GM's sales in Europe fell 6.5% while sales in North America plunged 21%. The company did post full-year sales gains in its Asia-Pacific region, as well as in its Latin America-Africa-Middle East region.

The loss of the No. 1 automaker title that GM held for 77 years came as no surprise. Toyota finished 2007 only 3,101 vehicles behind GM, as its sales rose and GM's fell that year.

But Toyota's sales fell 4% in 2008 as all automakers were hurt by high oil prices earlier in the year and the global recession. Toyota has already said that, due to the sharp drop in global demand for autos, it will report its first operating loss as a public company during its current fiscal year. To top of page

First Published: January 21, 2009: 9:04 AM ET

Let the media bashing begin.

Edited by Satty
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Seems like a fair article to me.

The issue with the media isn't the NEWS they report, it's the manner IN WHICH they report it. That's what some people fail to understand.

This article isn't biased and doesn't throw in any of the journalists own opinion or "knowledge" as fact. As a result, it's completely fair IMO.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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:stupid: Who cares that they are not Number one in sales, this just gives them more room to deal with growing sales. The whole I am number one is so over blown.
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It's funny this comes out today, because yesterday I was reading an article from Time magazine in 1992 i think about the exploding gas tank hoax on Dateline and in that article, GM was still "the worlds largest company"

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It's about time. Now GM can get out of the media spotlight and focus on rebuilding the company. Just watch, every dip or issue Toyota runs into now will be blown out of proportion, because they are at the top.

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Ah big deal they can only stay on top for so long. :AH-HA_wink:

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It's about time. Now GM can get out of the media spotlight and focus on rebuilding the company. Just watch, every dip or issue Toyota runs into now will be blown out of proportion, because they are at the top.

:yes:

Let's see how they like it....

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