This has been coming for a while now, but figures for the first quarter of the year confirm Toyota as the number one car company in the world today.
Previously the spot had been held by US car giant General Motors, but as we have seen in the past few years the main car manufacturers GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler have been hit by many factors which are outside of the industry as such and could be said to beyond their direct control.
Toyota have been steadily building towards the top spot and with their decision to go with the green car (Prius) which has proved to be a absolute winner, yet there are those who say that it is not totally the car sales that have helped the company reach this accolade. Many industry insiders believe that because of the Japanese culture, the company has been able to exploit certain areas.
We have seen that benefits to staff in the US have been major headache for the big three, these being mainly health care and pension liabilities, which as whole amounts to a lot of money and thus has an effect on investment in new plants, design and so on, is this true or just an excuse, well it is true that we have heard how expensive employing people in the west is, and in Japan it is different, but we are talking about a global market, the big three do have plants in other countries as do virtually all vehicle makers, the costs and working conditions are favourable and therefore most of the manufacturers are playing on a level playing field.
The fact that Toyota have the number one spot does not necessarily mean that they will be holding on to it, in fact the number one spot will probably be seeing many different names over the years to come as the car companies develop a worldwide foothold, and in particular the Chinese market, where we have seen that the luxury end have been showing their cars, yet this market has an even bigger market for small to mid sized cars, this where the sales are going to change the status of all car manufacturers.
Source [Business Week]