2007 First Quarter Won by Toyota

By: Jenny Mclane

After leading the field for the past 76 years, General Motors found themselves trailing after the surging Toyota Motor Corporation 2.35 to 2.26 in the first quarter of the 2007 season.

While that may read as some kind of a box score for a game, in reality, the given numbers actually are the sales figures in the global auto market by the two largest car manufacturers in the world. It can be remembered that General Motors announced that they have sold 2.26 million vehicles all over the world for the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, Toyota recently announced that they have sold 2.35 million vehicles for the same period globally.

While the figures show that Toyota has beaten General Motors in terms of sales for the aforementioned period, the Japanese car company cannot claim yet the title as the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. The Asian brand is certainly becoming more and more popular among American car buyers but it will have to work doubly hard to continue their dominance against their U.S.-based counterpart for the remaining three quarters of the year. It can be remembered that earlier this year, automotive experts have already predicted that Toyota is on the right track to become the world's largest car manufacturer. That prediction was given major credibility by Toyota after posting record breaking sales after record breaking sales for the first three months of the year.

After Toyota's announcement of their sales figures, experts in the field are already speculating that this year will belong to the Japanese company. The reason for this, experts believe, is that Toyota is focusing on the demand of the car buying public. Meanwhile, General Motors is still burdened by issues concerning their workforce. It is also a common knowledge that the Japanese company is leading the way in producing fuel efficient vehicles which is what consumers are currently demanding from car manufacturers.

In the United States, the fuel efficient Camry is the best selling model for Toyota while the electric hybrid Toyota Prius continues to gain popularity among fuel consumption-conscious car buyers. The increased awareness on the threat of global warming also increases the demand for such fuel efficient vehicles.

Another reason for the success being enjoyed by Toyota is its image. Koji Endo, an auto industry expert for Credit Suisse in Japan's capital Tokyo, said: "Toyota sales are booming because of its good image around the world about reliability and ecological technology. It's just the opposite for GM, and its image is deteriorating." Endo also said that this trend in the automotive industry is hard to reverse. Toyota's lineup is filled with fuel efficient vehicles while General Motors is still trapped in the past by producing larger vehicles which, of course, consumes more fuel and burns a hole in the pockets of owners. This is of utmost importance to consumers since gas prices have been raising steadily in the past couple of years.

Aside from the fuel efficiency of Toyota's vehicles, the company is also known for producing quality and dependable vehicles. In recent surveys, it has been found out that Toyota is one of the most dependable brands in the market. Its luxury division Lexus is also known for its high performance and good dependability. These vehicles can even be compared to Bestop Jeep hard tops when it comes to dependability.

With the combination of fuel efficiency and dependability of Toyota's lineup of vehicles all over the global market, it would seem like Toyota is on its way to becoming the world's largest car manufacturer in the world. What would happen though if General Motors would be able to acquire the struggling Chrysler Group from DaimlerChrysler AG? That could be one of General Motors' ways so as to move ahead of the surging Japanese auto manufacturer. While that may seem like an option for the Detroit based car manufacturer, the rest of us would just have to wait and see.

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