Toyota set to surpass GM as No. 1 in world

Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to release 2006 sales targets next month that, if realized, would push it past General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker, according to a report in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Toyota's plan could set a production goal in 2006 of 9.2 million automobiles, 11% more than it expects to make in its current fiscal year.

GM made 8.99 million cars and trucks in 2004 and has projected it will build 9.1 million this year. The company hasn't made projections for 2006. GM has been the world's No. 1 automaker for more than 70 years.

Toyota officials have publicly said they're concerned about U.S. backlash from dethroning GM. Industry experts also worry about quality problems if the company expands too quickly.

But an 11% growth rate wouldn't be that far off what Toyota has done for the past few years. Worldwide sales grew 10% each year in 2004 and 2005. More at Detroit Free Press

Leave a Reply