General Motors Corp., pummeled by falling U.S. sales and high gas prices, lost the global sales lead to Toyota Motor Corp. in the first half of this year, but the churning market makes it difficult to predict which automaker will end the year on top.Yahoo News
Toyota sold 4,817,941 vehicles globally during the first six months of the year, company spokesman Hideaki Homma said Wednesday, beating GM by 277,532 vehicles. Toyota said its global sales rose 2 percent from the same period the year before, while GM's sales fell 3 percent.
It's the second time Toyota has beaten GM in sales in the first half of the year. In 2007, Toyota outsold GM by about 50,000 vehicles, although GM eked out a win for the full year, retaining its 77-year position as the world's largest automaker by sales.
Things are bad at GM -- sales down almost 20 percent -- and open talk about the possible amputation of under-performing/overlapping brands such as Pontiac, GMC and maybe Saturn and Buick, too.American Spectator
But the diagnosis is much worse for Chrysler Corp. Some analysts believe that unless a transfusion of money and other resources can be found via a buyout or partnership with a healthy automaker such as Nissan/Renault (or even the Chinese), Cerberus -- the private company that currently owns the sickly husk of Chrysler Corp -- will cut its losses and dump the whole shebang.
Time frame? A year, at the most. Maybe less than six months.
But GM at least has a few decent small cars like the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Astra -- and also some excellent mid-sized models like the Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura.
Chrysler doesn't even have the Neon anymore.
For some inexplicable reason, Chrysler did not invest in a replacement for this once big-selling economy compact. So it has absolutely nothing right now in the way of a 30 mpg or better small car -- at a time when such cars are as hot-selling as V-8 SUVs were five years back.
Presumed Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama told the UAW in a letter that he supports the $4B in federal aid, stating that he would "provide real solutions necessary to help this industry compete and win in the global economy." Obama also promised tax breaks for consumers that purchase ultra fuel efficient vehicles and tax credits for automakers as well. Presumed Republican nominee John McCain opposes the idea of federally backed loans, but he does support tax breaks to those that purchase fuel efficient vehicles and a $300M in prize money for electric battery powered vehiclesAutoblog