GM is still world No. 1 for now
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
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 on its way down and Toyota on its way up.
Jim Higgins wrote:
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