Toyota Tightens Grip on Number Two Spot and Aims for Number One

GM controls 15 percent of the global auto market, which Toyota is now aiming for, as well, propelled, in part, by the Japanese automakers push into automotive ecological technology such as gasoline-electric hybrids.

Published: 20-Mar-2005

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When General Motors Corp. warned this week that it will lose money in the first quarter of 2004, the No. 1 automaker cited reasons including disappointing sales in North America.

Another explanation, one not mentioned publicly: Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., a company on a roll, is helping to steal away GM's market share.

After overtaking Ford Motor Co. in 2003 as the world's No. 2 automaker in annual global vehicle sales, Toyota held that spot last year and is expected to solidify its position this year and in 2006. And it's quite conceivable that Toyota, which has set a goal of a 15 percent global market share sometime after 2010, might overtake GM as the world's top automaker.

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