Toyota vehicle sales fall behind GM [Archive] - Ford Inside News Community

: Toyota vehicle sales fall behind GM

10-22-2007, 09:30 PM

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. slipped back into second place behind General Motors Corp. after reporting slightly lower sales for the July-September quarter than its U.S. rival.

Toyota sold 2.337 million vehicles in the quarter ended on Sept. 30, the second quarter of the Japanese fiscal year, a 4 percent increase over prior-year levels but a lower figure than GM's sales reported last week of 2.38 million.

For the first nine months of the year, Toyota's sales were up 7 percent over the year-earlier period to 7.05 million vehicles, said company spokesman Paul Nolasco. That was fractionally behind GM's year-to-date sales of 7.06 million vehicles, but most analysts expect Toyota to regain the lead in coming months.

But Toyota's remarkable expansion has not come without a price. "Toyota has stubbed a few toes in the last couple of months," Magliano said. The automaker has been embroiled in a public relations dispute with environmentalists who accuse the Japanese automaker of hypocrisy because it is lobbying for a milder version among the U.S. mileage bills before Congress.

Toyota also has suffered a fresh dent in its once bullet-proof reputation for quality after sliding from first to third place in the latest vehicle ratings put out by the influential Consumer Reports magazine. Consumer Reports also withdrew its recommendations for three key Toyota models: the four-wheel-drive V-8 Toyota Tundra pickup, the all-wheel-drive version of the Lexus GS sedan, and the V-6 powered Toyota Camry.