Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Toyota Passes GM

Last quarter Toyota sold more vehicles than General Motors for the first time ever. According to the article,

Toyota Motor Corp.'s success is fueled by robust demand for its reliable, fuel-efficient models, including the Camry, Corolla, Yaris and gas-electric hybrid Prius.

It also comes at a time when General Motors Corp., which lost US$2 billion last year, has been forced to scale back production and cut costs in a bid to revive its sliding fortunes, even as it leads in China's booming market.

This is no surprise to anyone who's been following the automotive market for the past few years. Toyota is a juggernaut. It doesn't help that unions and health-care costs drive up production costs for GM. Toyota makes many cars in America too, but pays its workers less in non-unionized plants in the South. GM has also hurt itself by placing too much reliance on gas-guzzling SUVs for the bulk of its profits. They were caught flat-footed when prices rose. Toyota, on the other hand, began researching hybrid vehicles back when gas prices were still low.

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