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WSJ: Toyota Leading GM in Sales

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2008 HUMMER H2

2008 HUMMER H2

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As expected, Toyota clocked more sales in the first six months of the year than did General Motors.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that GM's global sales dropped in the second quarter, while Toyota's grew, making the gap wider between the two automakers.

GM moved 2.3 million vehicles in the second quarter, down 5 percent worldwide versus the year before; Toyota saw its sales rise 2 percent in the same period to 2.4 million units. Toyota has sold 4.8 million vehicles in 2008 through the end of June, while GM has sold 4.5 million.

GM has been struggling to right its finances and sales in North America, but has shown strength in China, Russia and other emerging markets. In its Asia Pacific region, GM saw a sales boost of 15 percent, while Chevrolet grew 33 percent in China alone.

Sales in North America, though, at GM have dropped 20 percent in the first six months of the year, due to the rise in gas prices and the housing crunch. However, western European markets are stagnating for the auto industry as well.

And while GM is watching its sales slow, Toyota is seeing the same trend: it plans to sell only 9.5 million vehicles this year, after setting a goal for 2008 of 9.85 million sales.

Last week, GM unveiled a plan to cut back on truck production while pulling forward the introductions of several new cars and car-based utility vehicles, including the 2010 Cadillac SRX and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.
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