The two carmakers are prepping to pass the one-time giant on separate frontsEnlarge Photo
As General Motors peers over the brink of the abyss into a future that very likely holds a bankruptcy, the hits just keep coming. Today industry forecasters revealed that Toyota will pass GM in U.S. market share by 2010 at current rates, while Ford will push past the General in North American production by the end of 2009.
The double whammy means GM will have to struggle even harder not just to recover what it's lost but to maintain what it has. As things sit, IHS Global Insight puts GM's U.S. market share at 19.2%, down 2.7%, while Toyota's is down just 0.3% to 16.1%, according to an Automotive News
report. That means Toyota saw a relative rise in share compared to GM even as it too lost sales.
Another year of that trend could have the two carmakers swapping places, according to the data, says IHS.
Ford, on the other hand, is still a ways back from GM in sales but is already set to exceed GM's North American output by the end of the year. An estimated 1.9 million Blue Oval-built vehicles will roll out of factories in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico this year. GM will only turn out about 1.7 million vehicles by IHS's count.
Chrysler will all to a distant fifth place in North American production, with Honda finishing in third and Toyota in fourth.
Last year the battle for global sales leader
between GM and Toyota was intense, and Volkswagen has also thrown its hat in the ring, with a plan to topple both
in the near future. The fight for the drastically downsized U.S. market may soon take a back seat to the global struggle as carmakers form a new, post-crunch hierarchy.