Toyota has its sights set on dominating the worldwide vehicle market, aiming to by match or better No. 1 General Motors’ 15% share of the global market by 2010, according to this week’s Barron’s magazine, CBS Marketwatch reported.
Barron’s reportedly said that Toyota, which last year overtook Ford as the second-largest producer of light vehicles, currently has a 10% share of the market and would need to increase its sales 50% to reach its goal. It will make its biggest push in the US, Europe and China, according to the report.
The report said that, so far this year, Toyota’s US sales growth is already sharply outpacing rivals. Up to August 31, Toyota’s sales rose 8.8% while DaimlerChrysler posted a more modest rise of 1.7%, GM sales declined 1.8% and Ford posted a 4.8% sales drop.
CBS Marketwatch noted that Toyota sold more of Camrys in the US than all of the Dodge and Jeep vehicles combined sold by DaimlerChrysler. It also sold more Lexus vehicles than all four of Ford’s European luxury brands in total.
According to Barron’s, each percentage point of US market share is worth around $1 billion in profits.
In Europe, the reports said, Toyota’s sales were up 15% for the first half, pushing its share of that market up to 5.1% from 4.7% previously. Four of the six high-volume European automakers posted sales declines for the period.
The report said efficiency is one of Toyota’s advantages, with its network of about 50 plants globally often running near 100% capacity.
The company comes in well ahead of its rivals in terms of profit for each vehicle it sells, according to the report. Toyota also benefits from the wide range of dependable vehicles it makes, it said.
CBS Marketwatch noted that customer dissatisfaction with Toyota’s dealer network, particularly in the US but also in Europe, represents one area of potential weakness.
Toyota’s US dealers, which are often perceived as arrogant, rank near the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys for sales and service, Barron’s reportedly said.
In order to reach its lofty goal of ousting GM from its top spot, Toyota will need to entice new customers, partly by improving the experience its customers receive at dealerships, according to the report.