According to reports out of Japan today, Toyota plans to lower its global sales estimate to 9.5 million vehicles this year, down from a previous sales estimate of 9.85 million. The report comes the day after GM's "Sweeping-Reorganization Press Conference, Part II," thus making their significant 385,000-unit sales forecast cut seem like a paltry hiccup in comparison. Well played, Toyota, but will it be enough for the win and the title of the world's super best number one automaker?
If General Motors' global sales don't increase above their final tally of 9,369,524 for 2007, and Toyota actually hits their reduced number, Toyota wins. More ominously, GM hasn't provided a forecast for 2008 sales; given the thinly veiled sense of panic around the RenCen these days, there's concern that year-over-year sales figures could remain stagnant enough to allow Toyota to take the top spot.
As always, don't count out the power of cash incentives. We know the General too well to assume they won't toss a "buy a Yukon, get an Aveo for a dollar!" two-for-one promotion into the mix come November. GM for the win! And, as always, the eventual loss. [Automotive News (Sub. Req.)]