Toyota Surpasses GM in Q1 Sales

Toyota Surpassed GM in First Quarter Sales, Foreshadowing Toyota’s Inevitable Position as World’s Largest Automaker According to Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com

What: According to quarterly sales results announced today, Toyota became the world’s number one car company for sales for the first three months of this year. Toyota surpassed General Motors, the world leader for 76 years, for the first time.

“While the figures announced today represent only quarterly sales results, they may well foreshadow the inevitable: Toyota will become number one as early as this year. Toyota has claimed that surpassing GM is not its goal, Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told reporters in December. But don’t believe for a second Toyota’s goal — or Watanabe’s goal — isn’t to surpass GM. Toyota desperately wants to be number one. Watanabe — described as sharp, very aggressive and even a bit arrogant — wants Toyota to be number one. The automaker just worries about what goes along with being number one,” said Michelle Krebs, Senior Editor of Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com.

According to Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jesse Toprak, “This was not an unexpected turn of events, but it happened a bit earlier than forecasted because of GM’s decision to cut fleet sales. GM wasn’t making much money on those cars anyway, so the financial picture isn’t dramatically different than before. All GM sacrificed in this decision was ego, since the executives knew Toyota would become number one sooner when much of GM’s fleet sales were removed from the count.”