Monday, May 16, 2005


Toyota To Pass GM In Three Years?

According to Autoweek, current trends indicate that Toyota's on-track to pass GM in worldwide sales within two to three years. Yikes, but that should come as no surprise. But what caught me off-guard was this:

GM Daewoo is accelerating faster than any carmaker. Sales increased 55.2 percent in 2004. If GM pushes its stake above 50 percent, GM Daewoo's volume will be consolidated in GM's accounts -- at the very least delaying Toyota's ascension.

Ballew says GM Daewoo should be included in GM's total because most of its vehicles are sold with a Chevrolet badge. GM also has management control of the company.

Now, I certainly as hell don't agree with rebadging Daewoos as Chevrolets or using such as an excuse to include them in GM's sales figures, but it's fascinating to me that the little Korean manufacturer is doing so well. In my pre-blogging days, posting on car enthusiast forums, I had absolutely nothing good to say about that purchase and figured that GM bought into Daewoo because they were the only car company left on the market. It looked like a despairation move, and all the labor problems immediately after the sale made things look that much worse. But perhaps this one will work out for the best (compared to the Fiat deal, how can it look bad?).

Regardless, I think it's foolish to think that Daewoo will save GM's position at the top, at least not unless they capture a big chunk of the low-end Chinese market - and with Korean labor not exactly cheap compared to their big neighbor, I don't think that's a likelihood.

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