GM is still world No. 1 for now

GM is still world No. 1 for now http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070118/AUTO01/701180351/1148
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp.'s 2006 worldwide sales dropped slightly to
9.09 million cars and trucks, but it's probably enough to keep the title of world's largest auto seller.
The Detroit automaker said Wednesday that its 2006 global sales fell 0.9 percent from 9.17 million in 2005. Toyota Motor Corp. has estimated that it sold 8.8 million vehicles last year, but its final numbers won't be released until later this month.
It's likely to be a much closer race this year, according to auto industry analysts who say that with Toyota experiencing growth in North America, GM may have to give up the title.
GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner has vowed a fight to keep the No. 1 spot.
"Let's just say it's going to be a good old-fashioned horse race for 2007," said Erich Merkle, director of forecasting for the auto consulting company IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids.
Toyota has said it expects to produce 9.42 million vehicles this year. Wagoner has said the company has capacity to produce more than Toyota says it will make this year.
GM, which is struggling with lagging North American sales and a corporate restructuring, attributed the 2006 decline in part to planned cuts of 75,000 vehicles sold to rental car companies for little profit.
-- The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. T.R. April 10, 1899
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Here are some figures from mid 2006 --------------------------
The World's Largest Carmaker
General Motors became the world's largest carmaker initially by acquiring several independent car manufacturers in the United States, Europe and other regions, and then by growing its 13 brands around the world. In 2005, GM sold nearly 9.2 million cars and trucks globally. And 4.6 million cars and trucks in the first half of 2006.
Keeping pace with an increasingly global economy, GM in recent years has made far-reaching changes to become a leaner, faster and more smoothly integrated company.
GM's European operations are an integral part of a global network of design, engineering and manufacturing centers that share resources and best practices and make leading-edge technology available to every member of the GM family. GM Global Sales and Market Share by Region - 1st Half 2006     Total Market Salesunits     Total GM Salesunits     GM Market Share% North America     10,161,824     2,420,315     23.8 Europe     11,450,182     1,070,508     9.4 Asia-Pacific     9,840,137     637,296     6.5 South America     1,501,270     333,965     22.2 Mid-East/Africa     1,265,280     141,572     11.2 Total Global     34,218,693     4,603,656     13.5 -----------------------
Figures from mid 2007 are probably going to be even between Toyota and GM. GM on its way down and Toyota on its way up.
Jim Higgins wrote:

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