Tokyo: Toyota may have fallen short of General Motors in global vehicle sales last year, but it’s beaten its U.S. rival in another measure, global vehicle production.
In the latest neck-and-neck numbers race between the world’s top two automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. said on Monday, 28 January, it had made a record 9,497,754 vehicles worldwide in 2007, up 5.3% from the previous year.
That’s about 213,000 more automobiles than the 9.284 million that GM made last year.
Toyota’s earlier, less precise production estimate for 2007 was 9.51 million. Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco in Tokyo said there was no special reason for the change from the estimate.
By sales, however, General Motors Corp. just barely retained its crown over Toyota, selling 9,369,524 vehicles around the world, up 3% from the previous year, and about 3,000 vehicles more than Toyota.
Toyota on Friday, 25 January, updated its sales tally for last year with additional three digits at 9,366,418. In number released last week, Toyota said it sold 9.366 million vehicles last year globally, up 6% from 2006, allowing GM to keep its title of world’s No. 1 automaker for the 77th year.
The two big manufacturers are vying for sales in the US, Europe and other established markets but also new markets, including India and China.
Toyota said production in Japan marked its sixth straight year of gains for a record in 2007. Exports and overseas production also surged, it said.
Toyota has been racking up growth recently, riding on its reputation for quality and good mileage. Soaring gas prices are making smaller cars that are Toyota’s forte increasingly in demand.
Toyota has enjoyed a green-car image because of the fashionability of its Prius gas-electric hybrid, which cuts down on global warming emissions.