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Can VW Overtake Toyota and GM To Become #1?
According to the (London) Sunday Times, "To those who suggest that closing a 3m vehicle gap (Toyota produced 9.4m last year) is a very tall order, company management explains that, in 2006, the number of conventional passenger cars made by Volkswagen and Toyota was fairly similar -- 5.2m for Volkswagen and 5.5m for Toyota -- and that the difference is made up by 4x4s, people carriers' and light trucks."
Volkswagen introduced a full range of these multi-purpose vehicles only recently, but apparently they'll play an important role in VW's future growth.
The big question I have on this is whether VW's more exciting designs and dynamic driving experience can offset Toyota's superior reliability record, and/or whether VW can narrow the reliability gap sufficiently to reach this ambitious goal. Also, I wouldn't totally discount the possibility that GM may retain its #1 position (or regain it, if it loses it in '08). Richard Waggoner has publicly stated that GM will not passively concede its world sales leadership to Toyota, but will, instead, fight to retain it. Official statistics indicate that GM squeaked by Toyota in '07, but, as we know, Toyota has the momentum.
One thing to consider is that because Toyota has been so strong in the U.S., surpassing Chrysler, then Ford in our market, we may tend to overestimate Toyota's strength vis-a-vis GM and VW worldwide.
Your thoughts on all this?