Chrysler division head Dieter Zetsche isn’t concerned that Toyota will overtake displace his company as the third-largest United States carmaker.
“I definitely don’t fear Toyota selling more or less than we do,” the Chrysler chief executive and president reportedly told a news conference during the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in Las Vegas.
According to the Reuters report, Zetsche spoke after recent data showed that Toyota had overtaken Ford as the world’s second-largest carmaker last year. His remarks were also prompted by a Reuters interview on Friday in which a senior Toyota executive predicted his company would take more US market share this year.
“We have growth plans as well … volume plans,” Zetsche reportedly said.
Reuters said that Chrysler, which is struggling to return to long-term profitability, saw its US market share dip 0.3% to 12.7% last year while Toyota’s share, while still some way off, continued its continuous increase to rise 0.8% to 11.2%.
The news agency noted that car makers fight ruthlessly over every fraction of market share in the “hypercompetitive” US market.
“If you add up the sales plans of all manufacturers in the U.S. for this year, like for the past years, you would end up with – I don’t know – 120 or 130% market share,” reportedly said Zetsche, in an apparent dig at Toyota and other carmakers forecasting near-term growth in their hard-fought US market share.
“I don’t expect that they (Toyota) will surpass us, but, if so, that’s a nice headline for you but not a major concern for us,” he added.
Reuters said Toyota targeted 15% of the world’s car market some time in the next decade, up from about 11% now, which would likely place it ahead of Chrysler in the United States and even above General Motors globally.