The Cycle

GM unseated by Toyota as World’s largest automaker

After 77 years, GM is no longer the world’s largest automaker, selling only 8.35 million vehicles as opposed to Toyota’s 8.97 million. While both companies face falling sales and eroding consumer confidence, does Toyota’s claim to the title even matter?

“It certainly doesn’t have the oomph it would have, had the environment been better,” Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds’, told PRWeek. “A company can sell a lot of cars and not make money…The media makes a whole lot more of this…The consumer doesn’t much care.”

Krebs also notes that the greater focus for these automakers is on being “profitable and minimizing losses to better position [themselves].”

Fritz Henderson, GM COO, echoed that sentiment Tuesday, at the Automotive News World Congress, where Bloomberg reported, Henderson said the sales race didn’t compare with the company’s current objective of returning to profitability. Henderson reportedly said, “What if we have an $800 billion fiscal stimulus package and it doesn’t work?”

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