Toy­ota fac­ing surge by GM

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

A year of qual­ity and safety dis­as­ters al­most cost Toy­ota its spot as the world’s lead­ing car­maker in 2010.

Toy­ota jumped to the top of the global sales charts in 2008 as Gen­eral Mo­tors slid to­wards bank­ruptcy but lost most of its ad­van­tage last year as ‘‘new GM’’ surged back to within 29,000 sales of the Ja­panese com­pany.

China pro­vided much of the fuel for the GM re­sult as, for the first time in the com­pany’s his­tory, home sales in the US did not top its re­sults.

In­stead, GM sold 2.35 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in China — 136,000 more than it de­liv­ered in Amer­ica— as it took its over­all to­tal to 8.39 per cent for a 12 per cent in­crease over 2009.

Toy­ota’s fi­nal fig­ure for last year was 8.42 mil­lion, a 7.7 per cent im­prove­ment over 2009, and it only man­aged 846,000 sales in China.

Volk­swa­gen was the biggest im­prover through 2010 with a 13.5 per cent in­crease over 2009, and ranks third glob­ally with 7.14 mil­lion sales, ahead of fourth-placed Ford.

The re­sult is an im­prove­ment of 850,000 in just one year.

But the Ger­man brand is aim­ing for num­ber one be­fore 2018 and hopes to hit 10 mil­lion sales in that time as global de­mand grows over the next five years.

China is also a key coun­try for VW, as it lifted its sales by 37.1 per cent last year to 1.92 mil­lion ve­hi­cles — a re­sult that means Chi­nese buy­ers are tak­ing 28 per cent of the com­pany’s to­tal vol­ume.

The lat­est sales re­sults show the im­prove­ment around the world since the end of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis. GM lost more than two mil­lion sales and Toy­ota fell by more than 1.5 mil­lion in the same pe­riod from 2007 to the end of 2009.

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