I suppose the inevitable doesn’t deserve better than a below-the-fold story on the Post‘s business page:
Toyota outpaced its rival to sell 8.972 million cars and trucks around the world in 2008, about 616,000 vehicles more than GM’s final tally of 8.356 million.
This was a long time coming:
GM took the world’s largest auto manufacturer title from Ford in 1931. Two years later, Toyota began making cars.
Toyota’s smaller, fuel-efficient cars have appealed to consumers during spikes in gas prices. Through the ’70s and ’80s, GM’s quality declined as Asian competitors made a name for themselves in reliability. Toyota has since aggressively entered the truck and sport-utility market to grow itself as a full-line manufacturer. In the United States, Toyota’s sales have slowly chipped away at Chrysler, then Ford.
Given how terribly GM is performing in this down turn, how dubious its leadership is (see GM’s Lutz: Wagoner is one of “the innocents,” just “the mayor of a city hit by an earthquake), and how the future is smaller cars and hybrids — where Toyota clealy leads — and plug ins — where the jury is out on who will lead, it will be a great challenge for Detroit to regain leadership.
- Whose bailout plan is best: Ford drops hydrogen while GM remains confused about ethanol
- Will Fiat help Chrysler go green?
- Chrysler, Mazda, Hyundai, and Nissan announce plug-ins — Honda stands alone against PHEVs
- Has GM overdesigned the Volt: Is a 40-mile all electric range too much?
- World’s first mass-market plug-in hybrid is from … China, for $22,000?
- Hybrid production costs may drop two-thirds within 10 years
- Plug-in hybrids and electric cars — a core climate solution
- IEA says oil will peak in 2020