General Motors is on track to getting back the title it lost to Toyota Motor Corp. three years ago as the world’s largest carmaker. There are factors that contributed, including Toyota’s recalls and the earthquake in Japan. GM did particularly well but making an even more significant effect is a historic shift in the auto business.
Through September of this year, GM has recorded 6.79 million sales, which is higher than that of Toyota by a million. Volkswagen AG arrived at second place with 6.17 million vehicles sold during the same period. This indicates that its expansion is faster than had been predicted.
Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih said that the car industry has shifted as GM recovers. He believes that Toyota is now rethinking if its goal to be the leader was a wise one. Shih, who has written on restoring American competitiveness, said that GM has a pretty remarkable recovery considering what its shape was a couple of years ago.
He said that GM lost “generation of customers” and so getting back some of them is an impressive accomplishment. GM’s worldwide sales have increased by 9.2% this year. It has posted huge profits, its highest in more than 20 years. It posted earnings of $6.17 billion last year and $8.47 billion from January to September of this year. [source: Bloomberg]