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GM News, New Models and Market Share



  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    No, Toyota says all they ever report is a figure that is 2 numbers past the decimal point.

    ??? 9.366 million in sales is what Toyota says they sold.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    The CNN link I posted this morning didn't have "actual" numbers for Toyota, just the rounded one. So I emphasized that to make sure that GM fans knew there was some wiggle room in Toyota's number.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think Toyota will release a more precise number soon, perhaps at the end of January or in the next month. At least I heard that on the news this morning.
  • kheferkhefer Posts: 3

    According to Automotive News, Toyota passed General Motors in sales and production back in 2006.

    Global vehicle production
    2006 2005†
    1 Toyota Motor Corp.1 ................................ 9,018,000 8,232,000
    2 General Motors2....................................... 8,743,248 8,293,985

    Global vehicle sales
    2006 2005†
    1 Toyota Motor Corp.1 ................................ 8,808,000 8,115,000
    2 General Motors2....................................... 8,679,860 8,354,932
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    Depends on what is counted as sales. Anyway the Toyota number is out and it is 3000 less than GM. The "official" number is below.

    Conventional wisdom in automotive circles not long ago held that Toyota Motor Corp. would flash past General Motors Corp. like a blur to become the global sales leader, perhaps in 2006 and certainly by 2007, as Toyota marched relentlessly toward world domination.

    GM defied that wisdom Wednesday, remaining No. 1 and holding Toyota off by about 3,000 vehicles in 2007 by reporting worldwide sales of 9,369,524 cars and trucks, up 3% from a year ago, and serving notice that it intends to keep battling for the sales crown in years to come.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043 SINESS01

    After a long fall from its once-dominant hold on half of U.S. car and truck sales, GM appears to be stabilizing its U.S. share at somewhere below 25%. But outside North America, GM sold almost 600,000 more cars last year than in 2006, a whopping 13.2% gain.

    GM sales in China rose 18%, India was up 74%, and Russia was up 95% as 59% of all GM sales were outside the United States. The company is well-positioned in the world's fastest-growing markets.

    That doesn't mean Toyota is suddenly a slouch. Far from it.

    Toyota also is well-established around the world, but its growth has slowed in its most lucrative market -- the United States. After growing at an 11% annual clip from 2004 to 2006, Toyota's U.S. sales rose only 3% last year, and the company is forecasting only 1% growth in the United States next year.

    The reason: Toyota now has products in every car and truck segment except full-size vans, which it doesn't plan to enter. So it can't add big chunks of sales simply by moving into new segments, as it has over the years with the Lexus luxury brand, Scion small cars and the Tundra full-size pickup.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    GM had the top loyalty for manufacturers during the 2007 model year, while Toyota was tops for brand loyalty, according to the 12th annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards.

    "GM and Toyota have proven that they know what it takes to keep customers coming back to their brands," said Stephen R. Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R.L. Polk & Co. "GM won a total of seven awards, including three vehicles that have won for the first time, which is a great testament to their overall manufacturer loyalty."

    In all, 63% of GM customers returned to buy another GM brand product during the year, compared with an average of 55% for the industry.

    Meanwhile, 57% of Toyota brand purchasers went back for seconds, compared with 45% for the industry.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Is the industry average 55% or 45%?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    55% is the average for Corporate loyalty. 45% is for division loyalty.

    So GM buyers are loyal to GM but they skip around to other GM divisions while Toyota buyers are loyal to Toyota but do not skip around to other brands, ie Lexus/Scion (not sure if Scion is a separate from Toyota but it probably is since this is a Polk number, not "Toyota who say Scion is part of the Toyota division). Chevrolet is up there near Toyota division for loyalty.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Thanks for the update pal !!! ;)

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...Cadillac owners are the most loyal of all. I can attest to that as my 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance is my 5th Caddy!
  • kheferkhefer Posts: 3

    We call it: Toyota topped GM in 2007

    Charles Child
    Automotive News
    January 24, 2008 - 12:00 pm ET

    DETROIT -- General Motors had a solid year in 2007, with global sales up 1.9 percent from 2006. But it is now the world's second-largest automaker.

    GM slipped well behind Toyota Motor Corp. in global sales. GM sold 8,885,599 total vehicles in 2007, while Toyota says it sold an estimated 9,370,000. Toyota will issue an official total in about a month.

    It was widely reported this week that the two automakers finished in a dead heat for the No. 1 spot. Here is why: GM includes in its total 516,435 vehicles of the Wuling brand in China.

    But GM owns only 34 percent of the Chinese company that produces Wuling vehicles, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co.

    Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., a major automaker in China, owns 50.1 percent of SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co.

    Automotive News follows industry practice by including sales of only majority-owned subsidiaries in an automaker's global total. For instance, sales of Mazda Motor Corp. are not included in Ford Motor Co.'s total because Ford owns 33.4 percent of Mazda.

    So Automotive News subtracts Wuling-brand sales from GM's reported total, arriving at 8,885,599.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    Never mind fuel cells, plug-ins or diesels. To achieve quick improvements in fuel economy, General Motors is adopting an off-the-shelf technology: small engines with turbochargers.

    Next year GM will introduce a turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engine for small U.S. cars. The Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Astra are candidates for the engine, which is available without a turbocharger in the European Opel Astra.

    GM engineering chief Jim Queen confirmed the company's plans to use the powertrain and said it could be used in mid-sized vehicles, too.

    "You're going to see turbocharged four-cylinders in vehicles that no one could have ever imagined that they would be in," he said.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    General Motors wants all of its dealers around the globe on the same page.

    GM is replacing its GM DealerWorld Web site, used by GM dealers in the United States since 1999, and five other portals used by dealers in different regions of the world. In their place will be GM GlobalConnect.

    This new Web portal is designed to be a one-stop shop for dealers. It has all the software needed to do business with GM, such as ordering vehicles, submitting warranty claims and reporting deliveries.

    GM's U.S. dealers will begin switching from GM DealerWorld to GM GlobalConnect in midyear and complete the move by year end. The automaker will give its U.S. dealers their first detailed look at the portal during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, which begins Feb. 9 in San Francisco.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    yep, 4 cylinder motors are more prepared for turbo-charging and can be retro-turboed easier than motors with more cylinders. It's a good move by GM and one I'll want to keep fully abreast of, indeed.

    Hyundai proved this in SEMA informationals by making more powerful 4 cyl.motors by turbo-charging them. Rather than modding 6 cyl or if an 8 cyl can even fit in the housing.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    4 cylinder motors are more prepared for turbo-charging and can be retro-turboed easier than motors with more cylinders.

    Why is this so?
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    yep, 4 cylinder motors are more prepared for turbo-charging and can be retro-turboed easier than motors with more cylinders. It's a good move by GM and one I'll want to keep fully abreast of, indeed.

    Hyundai proved this in SEMA informationals by making more powerful 4 cyl.motors by turbo-charging them. Rather than modding 6 cyl or if an 8 cyl can even fit in the housing.

    Tell that to the owners of a Grand National or Regal T-Type. Hell, tell that to owners of the BMW 330xi
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    GM's two-mod hybrids are clever state-of-the-art designs, but $9000 premium? Geez! And they say Toyota charges too much for their hybrids.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    What is BMW charging? I think they are manufacturing their own trant' but I could be wrong.

    Does the $9k include all the aluminum ugrades to the body? Does seem way, way too high but we better get used to it. Hopefully someone will figure out ways to get better CAFE w/o so much cost.

    Also, how much do you think Toyota is subsidizing their hybrids? Just wondering.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    GM's two-mod hybrids are clever state-of-the-art designs, but $9000 premium? Geez! And they say Toyota charges too much for their hybrids.

    How did you get $9000?

    Just read the article in C&D and they compared the hybrid to a 5.3L Yukon. The Hybrid got 5% better on the highway but 27-58% better urban driving. The Hybrid also had better 0-60 times.

    They also stated that the Hybrid gets lightweight aluminum wheels, hood, liftgate, front bumper beam, driveshaft, engine and lighter seats and a lighter battery. There is about $2k of cost right there. Get used to these changes. By 2015 all vehicles will have these added cost.

    They also stated the cost of all this and the Hybrid stuff was $5k. Payback period if you drive 15,000 miles per year and with mostly city is 5 years. Better payback than a Prius or Civic hybrid. If you drive only highway payback is a lot further off but I think the Prius and Civic also have this issue. This cold playwell with the soccer families since it is mostly ity driving.

    hmm, 4 cylinder Camry or Tahoe hybrid? same city mileage...
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    For GM I think it is mostly because they have turbo 4's in production and slipping a turbo 4 into a production vehicle is not hard to do, particularly if a 4 cylinder is already a standard production engine. I would think that the turbo 2.8 V6 could easily be put into vehicles with the DOHC V6 engine as a standard production option, but the turbo 2.8 is probably going to burn more fuel than a 4.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    From my point of view the Prius costs about $22,000, 7-8000 more than the base corolla. So if you are looking at saving money, the corolla makes more sense. The camry hybrid is probably a better choice for the money/size but again the long term saving will depend on crude oil remaining at $100 per barrel, which is somewhat doubtful if synthetic fuel costs $45 per barrel to make....
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    His statement that I need more info on is that 4's are easier to turbocharge than 6's.

    Why?? I can think of no engineering reasons/
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    More room in the engine bay to bolt stuff on. :P
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Fours are easier since they only have one exhaust manifold, instead of two on opposite sides of the engine for a V6 (an inline 6 would be almost as easy as a 4, but you do have to worry more about the runner length on an I6). The four also requires a lot less plumbing from the manifold to the intercooler.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    The 2-Mode is like $2K and change pal !!! $9K is absolutely incorrect. Remember GM, split the cost 3-ways with Chrysler and BMW. ;)

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    While I like the city economy rating, the reduced towing capacity ruins it for me. Granted, I know most people who have Tahoe's don't tow anything, but I need a minimum of over 7,000lbs. Really more like 8000lbs to give some cushin.

    My Suburban tows my boat fine, but my 25' travel trailer is another story. With a towed weight of 6200lbs or so loaded (not including people and gear in the vehicle which must be deducted from the max tow rating of the vehicle), the burb w/5.3 just doesn't have the guts. Gearing is a big issue as the 6 speed would probably help towing performance a bunch as the ratio spread between 2 and 3rd in the 4 speed is to much for towing. Any type of a grade means a kick down to 2nd because the 5.3 can't generate enough torque in 3rd gear @55-65mph.

    I'm either going to replace the burb with an Expedition or a 6l powered Suburban or maybe if I feel like spending the extra $$ I might try to find a clean used '07 Denali XL by the end of this year.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    Considering the Hybrid model starts at $4k more than the LTZ it's certainly not cheap.

    If they could market and sell the hybrid model 4K over a base model Tahoe, I might be interested.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    I thougt the hybrid did not tow enough?

    Anyway, as time goes on, the hybrid, if sucessful will go down to lower models and become a cheaper feature. I am sure that as the aluminum components are forced onto the vehicle as base, due to CAFE, the prices will come down.
  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    How did you get $9000?

    Right from Edmund's. There is their pick

    Vehicle Tested:
    2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
    MSRP of Test Vehicle: $54,035 Price It!!

    What Works:
    Better acceleration than standard Tahoe; few packaging compromises; small but critical fuel-economy improvement.

    What Needs Work:
    Difficult-to-ignore price premium; marginal bump in fuel economy will improve your sense of social responsibility more than it will your carbon footprint.

    Bottom Line:
    It's better, but whether it's $9,100 better is up to you.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    So as much as you gripe about your GM, cars you might consider another ??? :surprise:

    Well I don't think you will pull the trigger but I could be wrong. I do hope you do as they are very nice !!! :shades:

    Anyways I hope your wife and kids are doing good. :)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Yep, it's only going to get cheaper. :)

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    Anyways. I hope your wife and kids are doing good. :)

    Hey thanks, all is well. Hope your grandma has a successful surgery tomorrow.

    Yes, I do gripe about GM. But other than the build quality issues of my Suburban, I love it.

    Bottomline is IMO, GMs full-size trucks and SUVs have a lot to offer to those of us that need/want the utility.

    Since I'm looking at going with another full-size SUV, I really like the Denali's accommodations/powertrain etc. The new Sequoia is certainly an option, but I don't really care for the looks and since I'd most likely go used, won't be an option and even if I found one it probably would still be more than I'd want to spend.

    That leaves and Expedition (bit short on power) and a Nissan Armada (great powertrain, but cheap interior and questionable reliability). So puts me right back where I started. Another Suburban/Yukon. But I do want more than the 5.3. It's a good engine, but I need more torque than it offers, so I'll be looking at something with the 6.0 or 6.2.

    You may very well see me in a Denali XL by the end of the year. The burb just hit 100k yesterday and I'm really starting to get the itch.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    So who is right? I would have to do a feature to feature comparison and I just do not feel like it!!!
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    The XL Denali's are indeed nice. So are the new Burbans. We have a pearl white one in the showroom that is pretty darn sweeeeet !!!! :shades:

  • torque_rtorque_r Posts: 500
    So who is right? I would have to do a feature to feature comparison and I just do not feel like it!!!

    Me neither. I do understand Chevy offers the Hybrid as top-of-the-line Tahoe, maybe due to limited availability. But $54,000 is damn too expensive for a Tahoe. Toyota offers the Prius/Camry Hybrids, but they are still priced like Toyotas and don't jump into Lexus territory. If fuel is the top priority, you can get a Highlander that seats 7 almost as comfortably for $34,000, has near luxury features, retains 19 average mileage, and you will save $20,000 to buy fuel with for several years.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    Me neither. I do understand Chevy offers the Hybrid as top-of-the-line Tahoe, maybe due to limited availability. But $54,000 is damn too expensive for a Tahoe.

    Not really. GM sells Tahoes/Yukons/XL's/Suburbans in the upper $40 range all day long. Not sure of the penetration but it has to be at least 20% and they sell a lot of these full size SUV's. So not really too expensive to the buying public.

    Most likely GM is not making much money if any on the Hybrid features. So since the $50k makes so much more money than a $40k one they can still sell a profitable vehicle.

    It's a new world. I just do not think many know how much this CAFE is going to cost us. I do not doubt that in 5-10 years that it is repealed. This $5k-9K option only gets GM 20MPG. They need to get that up close to 30 mpg. Good luck.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I just do not think many know how much this CAFE is going to cost us. I do not doubt that in 5-10 years that it is repealed.

    :confuse: CAFE is far more likely to be obsoleted by the market than repealed by politicians. Even so, GM could easily bring its Mormon-patriarch-suited tanks up to the mid 20s (which is all CAFE really requires of them) with a systematic program of weight reduction, aerodynamic optimization, and diesel hybrids across the board; stuff that forward-thinking companies do before the legislature thumps them in the back of the head.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    if it is so easy for GM to bring it's large SUV's up to the mid 20"s why hasn't a forward thinking company (by that I assume you mean toyota or honda) done that already, after all it's easy so why are these truck out from at least one manufacturer? Wouldn't they stand to make a fortune if their SUV's got that much better milage, could still perform all the tasks that people expect them too, and cost about the same? I would have to hazard a guess that it is because the costs are too high and the market is not ready to pay what these trucks would cost even with their better milage, it isn't that these comapny's can't do it, it is that the price puts the end product out of reach of the people who will buy them. Hopefully they (meaning all the manufacturers) will figure out how to get the costs down to where they can offer the more fuel efficient SUV's. That said hopefully people who don't really need an SUV will switch to something that meets their needs better and gets better milage.
    Again it seems pretty obvious since there are NO full size suv's on the market as you describe that the costs make them not doable, and to pick on GM as a non-forward thinker is a bit unfair, (though in the past (at least in the 80's and 90's) I would agree) as they are working on new tech all the time (where is toyota's fuel cell car BTW? Honda and GM have them why not Toyota? how can a toyota ignore a forward think tech. like that and still be forward thinking, yes they have a hybrid now but that is short therm thinking at best).
    Sorry I seem to have rambled, I'll stop now. I just don't think GM is any worse than any other manufacturer when it comes to forward thinking now (and I have only owned one GM product thus far so I am not a GM fanboy).
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Except for Honda somewhat, there are no forward-thinking auto manufacturers today. Any semblance of creativity and forethought have been crushed under the relentless global homogenization orchestrated by risk-averse accountants.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    up to the mid 20s (which is all CAFE really requires of them)

    First where is this from? From what I can tell the breakdown by size has not happened yet. Mid 20's sounds like a reasonable requirement but I doubt it will be that low. The US average has to be 35. With at least 25% of all vehicles being trucks (trucks will still be needed by the people who use them for work) the PIckup / SUV sized vehicle will need to get at least high 20's. But then again I do not have the data to back it up. Please list the link for what the CAFE requires.

    systematic program of weight reduction, aerodynamic optimization, and diesel hybrids across the board

    Sounds great. We have a guesstimate of $5k-9k for the weight reduction, some aero optimization and a two mode hybrid and get 20 mpg. Now throw in a diesel (+$7000 per Ford) and a bunch more aluminum and magnesium and we are up to an extra $15k- $20k to get the MPG. Even being conservative to get up to "foward thinking vehicle" we add at least $10k to the price. Sorry but it will take the "legislature thumps them in the back of the head" to get people to buy one.

    Also are there not any other "forward thinking companies" out there that sees this "easily" way of doing it and bring it out? Golly gee, why did not Toyota really put GM/Ford/Chrysler in their places by bringing out this "super" vehicle you describe. I mean if Toyota would have brought out their truck at mid 20's MPG at a slightly increased price point they would have sold 100's of thousands.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Mid 20's sounds like a reasonable requirement but I doubt it will be that low.

    CAFE is figured on the old unadjusted EPA numbers from the early '80s. Thus, 35 CAFE mpg is about 26 EPA 2008 mpg. The NHTSA site is rather shadowy about that.

    As for the rest of it, weight reduction should be addressed in the design process (hire some bridge engineers) and the cost "premium" for diesel and hybrid drivetrains pretty much evaporates when their annual production is 2 million or so instead of 20,000.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    I do have to make a correction, see that toyota has a fuel cell suv in the news, just haven't heard anything about it till now.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 399
    Then where is Honda's Full size SUV with the same capabilities as the GMs with much higher fuel economy and about the same price? Also except for the possible exception of the civic I don't see Honda's cars being more efficient or lighter tahn anyone elses, yes the have the fcx (the fuel cell car) on lease, but GM has a fuel cell Equinox for lease (sort of) too, they are all trying to bring out the next "best" thing, I do admit that the honda fuel cell car is much more futureistic, but maybe the gm effort is more realistic? I wouldn't be able to get either anyway, since I am in Canada and they are only available in california due to refuleing issues. I agree that between the goverments of the world and the bad decision makers in charge that there is not much innovation, I jujst didn't think it was fair to single out GM in your first post.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The SUVs are the side of Honda that is content to play follow-the-leader. I picked on GM because this is a GM topic.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    “MOTOR TREND” magazine each year publishes its 'Power List' highlighting
    the 50 people who have shaped the global auto industry over the past 12
    months, and this year GM has 15 executives on the list, four of them in the
    Top 10.

    "GM's showing on this list is a testament to the company's progress in
    rolling out some very competitive vehicles, including Car of the Year
    winner Cadillac CTS," said Angus MacKenzie, editor-in-chief of “MOTOR

    Below are the GM executives who made the list. Check out the February 2008
    issue of the magazine to find out why each of these leaders was chosen to
    be a part of “MOTOR TREND's” distinctive Top 50.

    No. 1: Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner
    No. 4: Vice Chairman of Global Product and Development Bob Lutz
    No. 8: Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn
    No. 9: Vice Chairman and CFO Fritz Henderson (Also received Rookie of the
    No. 12: China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale
    No. 13: Director of Design — NA Premium RWD Vehicles Tom Peters
    No. 20: Director of Design — GMNA Cadillac Studio Clay Dean
    No. 25: North America Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing Mark
    No. 27: Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor
    No. 35: Director of Advanced Vehicle Design Dave Rand
    No. 38: Chief Engineer - Luxury RWD Vehicles Liz Pilibosian
    No. 40: Global Vehicle Line Executive, RWD Vehicles Gene Stafanyshyn
    No. 42: Group Vice President of GM Global Powertrain and Quality Tom
    No. 44: Group Vice President Global Engineering Jim Queen
    No. 47: Lambda Platform Vehicle Line Executive Anna Kretz

    With Rick Wagoner being selected as the single most influential person in
    the industry this year, the magazine spent extra time explaining why it put
    him at the top. The final comment from writers MacKenzie and Todd Lassa
    reads: "GM's glory days are ahead of it, again. Toyota must show Wagoner's
    company new respect."
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    God, I don't think I could be any prouder of these guys. Now if the mainstream media would pick up on it.

    BTW Rocky, sorry to hear your Grandmother needed that surgery, but glad to see she came through OK.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    GM recalls 2,400 Spring Hill workers
    SPRING HILL, Tenn . -- About 2,400 workers at the General Motors Corp . plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., will return to work for about three weeks starting on Monday. The workers have been laid off since last spring while the former Saturn plant is retooled and renovated to build a new Chevrolet crossover model. The workers go back on Monday to begin training and job selection for the new product. About 1,200 workers have stayed on the job making other GM engines and replacement parts for Saturns.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043 news/

    GM dealers in the United States delivered 252,565 vehicles in January, an increase of 2.1 percent compared with the same month last year. The company continued its efforts to focus on improved retail sales, showing an increase of more than 11 percent.

    Very strong retail sales of 186,187 vehicles were driven by a more than 31-percent surge in retail car sales. GM retail share in the U.S. has remained essentially stable for the past two and one-half years. Total truck sales of 148,191 were up more than 3 percent compared with a year ago.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,043
    General Motors Corp. posted a 2.6% rise in U.S. January sales as retail sales jumped 11%, and Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., which is battling GM for the title of world's No. 1 auto maker, reported a 2.3% drop.

    Ford Motor Corp., which ceded its title as the second-largest auto maker in the U.S. to Toyota last year, had a 3.9% decline. Chrysler LLC reported a 12% skid.

    The sales results kicked off what is expected to be the worst year for auto makers in more than a decade. Consumers are fretting about worsening conditions in the housing market, financial market volatility and high fuel prices, which have led many potential buyers to postpone purchases of big-ticket items. The deteriorating economic conditions have led the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates twice in the past two weeks and sparked a possible economic-stimulus package from Washington.

    Retail sales are a critical part of GM's plan to focus on higher-margin sales to dealerships as it pulls back from fleet sales. Amid the retail jump, GM raised its first-quarter production forecast 1.6%.

    This keeps GM as #1 in sales, even with a big decrease in rental fleet sales and a huge increase in retail. GM is working their plan.

    Interesting that car sales are down at Toyota but truck sales are up! Lexus also dropped 8%.

    Nissan Motor Co. sales dipped 7.3 percent for January when compared with the same month a year ago. At Nissan, the company reported selling 76,605 vehicles for the month, down from 82,644 in the year-ago period. Car sales dropped 6.9 percent while truck sales nose-dived 7.9 percent, the company said.

    Honda Motor Co. sales also dipped 2.3 percent from 100,790 in January 2007 to 98,511 last month.

    All this with GM and Toyota having virtually the same incentives on their large pick ups. I believe GM incentives are the same low incentives they were 1 year ago. Also Ford and Chrysler have huge incentives on their pickups to clear out the old modle for the new.
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