Toyota passes Ford for 2d in US
Toyota sold 2.62 million cars and trucks in 2007, 48,226 more than Ford, according to sales figures released yesterday. Toyota's sales were up 3 percent for the year, buoyed by products like the redesigned Tundra pickup, which saw sales jump 57 percent. Ford's sales fell 12 percent to 2.572 million vehicles.
General Motors Corp. remained the US sales leader, selling 3.82 million vehicles in 2007. But that was down 6 percent from the previous year as customers turned away from some large sedans and sport-utility vehicles and GM cut low-profit sales to employees and rental car agencies. GM's car sales fell 8 percent for the year while truck sales were down 4 percent.
Overall, the year was expected to be the worst for the auto industry since 1998 as consumers fretted over high gas prices, falling home prices, and the economy.
December also was a tough month for automakers despite a slew of holiday discounts. Toyota's sales slipped 2 percent for the month, GM's were down 4 percent, and Ford's fell 9 percent.
"This was definitely a challenging year to be in the car business, and 2008 isn't likely to be a piece of cake," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda.