Toyota vs. General Motors

All along, the 2007 Car Wars was running close.
Toyota told us 9.37 million vehicles in 2007 worldwide sales.
The company said it wasn’t going to release numbers beyond that.
Then GM gave their number admirably down to the last car: 9,369,524.
Too close call.
It was only then Toyota gave us another digit _ 9.366 million, about 3,000 vehicles fewer than GM’s.
I asked Toyota officials if they had waited for GM to release numbers.
Maybe they even wanted to release numbers that were smaller to avert a backlash from Americans upset that an industrial icon had been dethroned as the world’s top automaker _ a title GM has held for 77 years.
This is the way Toyota sources tell it:
They thought another digit wouldn’t be necessary because they had expected GM’s sales numbers to be far above the rounded off 9.37 million.
They had gone on past differences between the numbers GM had given for global production vs. global sales. (Global sales tend to be bigger than global production for GM.)
Toyota was surprised to see how close GM’s global sales tally was to their own, and so they felt they had to release the extra digit since reporters wouldn’t stop asking.
By the way, Toyota is No. 1 in global vehicle production.
Production tends to be easier to keep track for manufacturers than sales, which must add up the count from dealers.
With the race virtually a tie, this means we’ll keep watching the GM vs. Toyota numbers game all this year.

Toyota on road to No. 1

Numbers for the first quarter show that Toyota beat General Motors in global vehicle quarterly sales for the first time ever.
That’s a milestone for the Japanese automaker.
And the odds are something like 9-1 that Toyota will do that for the whole year.
The contest is already won in profitability.
Toyota is rolling in cash while GM is losing money the last couple of years.
GM has been the world’s No. 1 automaker _ i.e., in number of vehicles produced globally per year _ for 76 years.
This past week was earnings time for Japanese automakers _ Nissan and Honda.
Toyota reports earnings in May.