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Posts Tagged ‘GM-Toyota’

Toyota on Track to Regain Sales Crown

Maker sells nearly 5 million vehicles in first half of 2012.

by on Jul.25, 2012

Though a late arrival for 2012, the next-gen Avalon could add momentum to Toyota's sales drive.

Crushed by last year’s devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Toyota Motor Co. lost the global automotive sales crown to not only General Motors but was also passed by German rival Volkswagen AG.  But if the Japanese maker’s pace during the first half of 2012 is any indication it may very well be back as king-of-the-hill this year.

Toyota sold 4.97 million vehicles worldwide between January 1 and June 30th, a commanding 300,000-unit lead over GM, according to newly released numbers.  Barring another setback for Toyota, industry analysts suggest it will be difficult for the U.S. rival – or VW, for that matter – to catch up by year-end.

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Toyota’s rebound reflects a number of factors including, most notably, its recovery from last year’s Japanese natural disaster which forced most of that country’s makers to shutter key plants for a month or more due to component shortages and then only slowly restart production in Japan and at their overseas plants.


GM Goes to War

"War room" strategy could push GM past Toyota in 2011.

by on Apr.27, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with the now-delayed Prius V.

General Motors has gone to war.  Struggling to avoid the sort of parts shortage problems crippling its Japanese rivals, the maker has assigned several hundred managers to three “war rooms,” in Detroit, Tokyo and Shanghai, with the aim of keeping its assembly lines stocked and running.

That’s no easy task in the wake of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear plant disasters that all but shut down the Japanese auto industry for more than a month.  Toyota alone lost about 542,000 units of production in March, it revealed this week, and the global sales leader does not expect to have its worldwide production network back up and running at full speed until November or December.

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Toyota is by no means alone, the March disaster hitting hard all of the Japanese automakers – and impacting virtually all major car companies worldwide to at least some degree.  GM, in fact, was forced to briefly close a plant in Louisiana, with two European plants also affected.  But the maker is working hard to ensure even worse problem don’t develop.  And if it can keep things running reasonably smoothly, industry analysts say GM will likely end 2011 as the global sales leader, a title it lost three years ago, shortly before its bankruptcy.

“The war rooms stay in touch around the clock and have the authority to move parts around as needed,” explained Tim Lee, head of GM International Operations.


GM President Reuss Betting on Good Product, Not Toyota’s Misfortunes

Customers "didn't think we were listening," says hands-on exec.

by on Feb.11, 2010

General Motors must succeed on its products, not its competitors' misfortunes, says GM President Mark Reuss.

There might be a rare opportunity to take advantage of its arch-rivals problems, but Mark Reuss, General Motors’ new president of North American operations , insists he’d rather do it the old fashioned way, with better product.

Nonetheless, seven months after emerging from bankruptcy, the “new” GM is in a much better position than it has been in decades, Reuss said repeatedly, during a series of conversations this week, as well as his keynote speech at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.

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The executive pointed to GM’s “May the Best Car Win” program as a sign that customers see big improvements in the company’s cars, trucks and crossovers.  The recently-concluded marketing campaign offered potential customers the opportunity to buy a GM vehicle – and then return it if it didn’t meet their expectations.  Of 439,000 eligible buyers, only 505 returned their vehicles, Reuss revealed, adding that in some cases, buyers simply choose to swap for a different General Motors vehicle.


GM Aiming New Incentives at Toyota

Recall costs likely to be huge, both to cash reserves and image.

by on Jan.27, 2010

Have one of these to trade? GM is offering an extra $1,000 if you do.

All’s fair in love, war and automotive marketing, it seems, and General Motors is hoping to make some gains off Toyota’s latest round of quality problems with a new $1,000 incentive program.

The cash offer is good for any potential customer that wants to trade in a Toyota product.  GM buyers will have the option of getting $1,000 in cash, cutting $1,000 off their lease payments or taking a zero-interest, 60-month loan.  The program, which began today, runs through the end of February, said a GM spokesman.

“Our dealers were getting inundated” with calls from Toyota owners looking to trade in, said GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, adding that “carmakers are always looking for a competitive advantage.”

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That deluge was triggered by a series of setbacks to the Japanese giant which last week announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles due to problems with “sticky accelerators.” Then, on Tuesday, Toyota said it would halt U.S. sales of eight vehicles impacted by the recall and halt production at five North American plants will it tried to assess the cause of the safety problem and come up with a solution.


Battle Over NUMMI Escalates

UAW aiming to rally support to keep CA plant open.

by on Jul.28, 2009

The UAW is firing the first salvo hoping to prevent the closure of the 26-year-old NUMMI venture, near San Francisco.

The UAW is firing the first salvo hoping to prevent the closure of the 26-year-old NUMMI venture, near San Francisco.

The United Auto Workers and its union allies have quietly launched a campaign aimed at pressuring Toyota not to close the NUMMI plant in California now threatened by the break-up of a long-standing joint venture between the Japanese maker and General Motors.

The e-mail-based campaign is urging supporters of the UAW to call their Congressmen and encourage them to keep the plant in Fremont, California open.

The factory, originally a GM plant, has been running for a quarter century as part of an alliance between the two erstwhile competitors.  Toyota originally saw the joint venture as a way to test the possibility of producing cars in the U.S., while GM hoped to learn about Japanese manufacturing techniques.

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The U.S. maker decided to abandon its position in NUMMI after emerging from bankruptcy since it is dropping the Pontiac brand and the marque’s Vibe is the only GM model now made at Fremont.  Without its U.S. partner, Toyota has said it had little interest in retaining NUMMI, its only unionized American factory.