Toyota tops GM for first place in global sales
July 24, 2008
General Motors has been relegated to second place in global sales for the first half of 2008 by Japanese automaker Toyota, according to the latest sales figures published yesterday.
As reported by Reuters, GM's global sales fell 3 percent to 4.54 million units during the first half of the year. For the quarter, a drop of 5 percent to 2.28 million was posted. GM's North American second quarter sales topped off at 963,929 compared to 1.2 million in the first quarter. Sales outside of the North American marketplace in Latin America, Europe and Asia gained 10 percent overall.
Meanwhile on Toyota's front, a 2.2 percent increase to 4.8 million vehicles sold worldwide in the first six months of the year was recorded. The figure includes the automaker's growing Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors divisions as well. Despite the company's overall growth, Toyota number crunchers are weary it will experience its first profit decline in five years.
Like GM, Toyota has recently made drastic alterations to its overabundant truck and SUV production and is resultantly expected to reduce its annual global sales outlook. Executive vice president Tokuichi Uranishi announced to shareholders last month the automaker will struggle to sell more than last year's 2.62 million vehicles stateside and is likely to cut worldwide annual sales estimates to 9.5 million.
Both automakers are hoping to bolster their diminishing sales affected by fuel and raw material costs with more focus on fledgling markets, which GM labels as the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.