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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Toyota Kicks Ass And Take Names: 20% Market Share In The US?

Toyota's stock hit an all-time high in trading in Tokyo overnight.

Small wonder. The largest Japanese car company watched its operating profits rise 44% in the most recently announced quarter. Toyota said that sales in Europe and the US of fuel-efficient cars like the Camry helped its results. Of course, Detroit relies on SUVs and pick-ups for most of its profits. These have fallen out of favor as fuel prices rise.

Leaving aside the fact that at $215 billion, Toyota's market cap is as large as the next four most valuable car companies combined and that the company is upping its sales forecasts for the year. The most frightening announcements for the Big Three is that Toyota will start producing and pushing it Tundra pick-up, a move directed at the heart of Detroit's most lucrative model lines and that it will begin to market additional fuel-efficient cars like its Scion.

Toyota will increase production by over 500,000 units next year as it opens new plants in countries like China and Russia.

During the first three quarters of 2006, Toyota has increased its market share in the US from 13% last year to 15.2% this year. At that rate, Toyota will have almost 21% of the US market by the end of 2008. Most, if not all of that, would come from US manufacturers.


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