Speaking with the Financial Times, Wagoner pointed out that Japanese carmakers spent more than a decade trying to compete in the fullsize SUV and truck market, singling out Toyota, which he claims spent billions of dollars to develop and market its Tundra just before demand for such vehicles died.
Light trucks still accounted for more than half of GM’s U.S. vehicle sales last month, compared with just over a third for Toyota, but with analysts predicting further declines in truck sales it appears Toyota is much better poised to weather the tough conditions than GM.
Still, Wagoner believes the criticisms his company, as well as Ford and Chrysler, is receiving is unfair. “It’s not just the ‘Big Three’,” he told reporters.
Earlier this week, GM revealed its new restructuring plan which called for major production and job cuts for SUV and pickup models, development of a new small car and efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine, development of the new Volt plug-in hybrid and the possibility of dropping the Hummer brand.