U.S.A.:Toyota says Ford is still No. 2
By Alan Ohnsman / Bloomberg News
Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest automaker, didn’t pass Ford Motor Co. in total car and truck sales in 2003 if its sales are calculated on the same basis, Toyota President Fujio Cho said.
Toyota said in January that it sold 6.78 million vehicles worldwide last year, including those of subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co., exceeding Ford’s 6.72 million. Last week, the Japanese company announced a modified total of 6.49 million, excluding sales of joint ventures in China and Indonesia.
“If you use exactly the same basis for comparison, Ford is the No. 2 carmaker,” Cho told reporters at a briefing in San Francisco. “The numbers Ford announced were the unit sales based upon financial results at the closure of the books for the fiscal year. Using the same base for calculation, according to that, it is clear Ford is the No. 2.”
Toyota, which plans to raise its global market share to 15 percent within a decade from more than 10 percent now, has said it has no specific goal of beating Ford or General Motors Corp., the world’s largest automaker, by sales. Still, 15 percent market share would push the Toyota City, Japan-based company’s sales beyond that of General Motors, which now makes more than 14 percent of vehicles purchased worldwide.
Ford’s sales number is calculated on a wholesale basis, representing sales to dealers and distributors. Toyota has said its initial number was retail, or registered vehicle sales, while its second number was wholesale.
Cho and General Motors Chief Executive Richard Wagoner were in San Francisco to mark the 20th anniversary of the automakers’ jointly owned New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant. The factory in Fremont, California, operated from 1963 to 1982 as a General Motors facility and reopened in 1984 as an equal partnership between the two carmakers.
Toyota’s U.S. sales operations are based in Torrance, Calif. The company’s U.S. shares, which have gained 36 percent in the past year, fell $1.45 to $66.55 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
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My next Ford.....