[Rewind: Michigan GMC Dealers Could See GM Reclaim Top Spot from Toyota, First Time Since 2008]
In 2007, General Motors was named the No. 1 automaker for the 76th year in a row. Problem was, in 2008, Toyota Motor Corp. swept in and took the title away from GM. The title hasn’t seen first place go to General Motors since. But, 2011 may be different.
Toyota Motor Corp hasn’t had the best of luck for the past few years, if luck is even the right word. First there were millions of recalls by Toyota last year, which dropped its label of dependability and reliability. Next, March came and the Japanese company, along with the others, was faced with a disaster that slowed production down at some plants and even stopped production completely at others.
[Rewind: MI Dealers Learn Quake Halts Production of 230,000 Vehicles]
For an example of the shift from Toyota’s numbers to GM’s:
Last year, Toyota sales ended at 8.42 million vehicles, which exceeded GM’s by 30,000. This year, Toyota sold 5.88 million vehicles through to September of this year. That number showing 8.8 percent less than last year. Although Toyota Motor Corp has made a strong comeback, Maryann Keller, an industry analyst, sees the difference in the competition.
“Toyota won't gain back all of the share it lost this year," she said. "It was easy for the Japanese to steal buyers when their primary competitors in the U.S. put out low-quality cars. The competition has gained on them.”
Companies like Nissan, Ford, Hyundai and Kia could have Michigan GMC dealers working harder as they each take more of the market. The biggest competitor may be Volkswagen as it has already stated that its goal is to become No. 1 on a global scale. Already it looks close with GM’s forecasted at 9.16 million cars and Volkswagen at 8 million.
The end of the year will mark how much the Michigan GMC dealers will really get to celebrate, but for now, there are only speculations. MI Auto Times will follow the story.
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[Source(s): San Francisco Chronicle, AutoGuide, Bloomberg]