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Automotive News Europe - Guido Reinking - October 20, 2008 14:59 CET

When senior Volkswagen executives said the Wolfsburg-based automaker intended to overtake Toyota in global sales, profit and quality, more than a few industry watchers thought they had lost touch with reality. I was one of the skeptics.

Overtake Toyota – the industry's gold standard for productivity, quality assurance, efficiency and customer orientation – to say nothing of global profit- and sales leader? Impossible!

But look again: The top dog is losing its aura of invincibility.

In Germany, sales are off 22 percent this year. In the U.S., Toyota has been hit even harder. Its sales there collapsed 32.3 percent in September, worse even than the fall taken by sickly General Motors.

Contrary to popular perception, Toyota's dazzling growth over the past 10 years has been led by light trucks, not the gas-sipping small cars and hybrids that are so associated with its brand. Sales of its large vehicles – SUVs, crossovers, pickups and luxury Lexus sedans – have more than doubled in the past decade.

That is why the current automotive crisis is hitting Toyota harder than many other manufacturers. Its profit is projected to decline by as much as 40 percent this fiscal year, which would yield a margin of barely 6 percent. That would put it on VW's level.

There is little doubt that Toyota will remain the global sales leader for some years to come. But there is danger in that success. Becoming No. 1 demands different qualities than staying No. 1. Can the company do both?

In that sense, it may be fortunate for Toyota that Volkswagen has vowed to overtake it. That's because Toyota, without meaningful competition, may have stopped striving for perfection.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...&rssfeed=RSS31
 

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Do you not all see? toyota's growth was driven not by "gas efficient cars" but trucks.
Look, how many SUV's they have in their line up
  1. 4 Runner
  2. Rav 4
  3. Sequoia
  4. Highlander
  5. Land Cruiser
  6. FJ Cruiser
And the one that looks like a Pacifica they added recently

In Lexus division

  1. GX470
  2. RX430
  3. LX470

In the Truck division

Tundra
two types of Hilux ( Tacoma basic and tacoma big)


So, now their business is taking a hit, I for one being interested in automotive stocks , looked to see why, green toyota was doing soo badly. I thought they should be singing to the bank now?
 

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Do you not all see? toyota's growth was driven not by "gas efficient cars" but trucks.
Look, how many SUV's they have in their line up
  1. 4 Runner
  2. Rav 4
  3. Sequoia
  4. Highlander
  5. Land Cruiser
  6. FJ Cruiser
And the one that looks like a Pacifica they added recently

In Lexus division
  1. GX470
  2. RX430
  3. LX470
In the Truck division

Tundra
two types of Hilux ( Tacoma basic and tacoma big)


So, now their business is taking a hit, I for one being interested in automotive stocks , looked to see why, green toyota was doing soo badly. I thought they should be singing to the bank now?
Exellent post. I suspect this is why Toyota is suffering more than say Toyota. Unfortunately, it seems the sedan business side of Toyota has suffered too.
 

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I hope the two domestics are getting their arses in gear. Obviously GM is not bringing much here for small vehicles, they keep rebadging those damn large three row SUV's. Traverse, Outlook, and the Buick, my goodness GM get out and see what people want, not what your Oil business friends like.

If GM keeps the pace they are at now, I think the Volt could be their last new car??
 
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