27 Jul 2012
Signs of GM's defeat in 2012 can already be seen in the first quarter of 2012, where Toyota was able to sell 2.49 million units, while GM had to settle with 2.28 million units.
During the first six months of 2012, this Japanese automaker booked the sale of 4.97 million units. This achievement surpasses the numbers earned by General Motors by as much as 300 thousand. This gap is predicted to be very tough for GM to catch in the remaining six months of this year.
Two regional markets that contributed the biggest in boosting Toyota sales are China and Southeast Asia. Although haven't fully recovered, the US market is making good progress.
These automotive companies from different continents themselves claim to be unconcerned by who made the biggest sales in the first semester and choose to concentrate in achieving profit. However, undeniably, the race for the throne of global market king does concern the matter of prestige between the two.
GM themselves indicate refusal to come out defeated in this battle of "prestige". Through their spokesperson, Jim Cain, GM stated that their sales will be increasing rapidly in account to 70% of their variants in the USA will be refreshed or even have a completely new version in the next two years. In addition to that, sales of GM's lineup in China have reportedly been experiencing positive growth.
"We have just begun the most aggressive era of new products in our history, hoping that it will strengthen our position in the United States and China, as well as increase our profit across the world," said Cain.
A different opinion was uttered by Jeff Schuster, Senior Vice President of Forecasting of LMC Automotive, a consultant company from Troy, Michigan. According to Schuster, GM's investment in the European market, which is bigger than Toyota, is very risky, considering the automotive market in that region is plummeting. He also added that China's growth is beginning to slowdown.
In the midst of the battle between these American and Japanese brand, European giant Volkswagen AG managed to trail the two at third position with a sales accumulation of 4.45 million in the first semester of 2012.
Signs of GM's defeat in 2012 can already be seen in the first quarter of 2012, where Toyota was able to sell 2.49 million units, while GM had to settle with 2.28 million units. Toyota also predicts that they will be able to sell 9.58 million vehicles in 2012, or an increase of as much as 21%.
A wider perspective was offered by Chizuko Satsukawa, an automotive analyst from Standard & Poor's, based in Tokyo. According to him, Toyota's biggest rival is not only GM and VW, but also other manufacturers such as Hyundai, which is a South Korean brand. "Toyota's comeback may be considered as very impressive, but focusing on profit is certainly more important," said Satsukawa.
Satsukawa said that Toyota's main problem today is the strengthening of the Yen, while European and South Korean manufacturers are benefitted by their low currency value, which greatly impacts in their effort to increase export volume, especially to the North American market.
After the recall of the Toyota Fiasco, Akio Toyoda as the President of Toyota had decided that Toyota will concentrate more in strengthening the quality of production, rather than chasing volume growth, even though he later on corrected his statement. Toyota has decided to stay focused on sales volume by still giving extra attention on product development.
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