Toyota eyes No. 1

Jocelyn Ford Aug 4, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Right now, Toyota is the Godzilla of carmakers. It’s crushing its American competition with extreme prejudice. Today, Toyota said its profits were up 39 percent last quarter, that’s compared to a year ago. Once again, the big reason: More Americans bought Toyotas. Jocelyn Ford reports.


JOCELYN FORD: Toyota’s roaring profits are another sign that the company is speeding toward replacing General Motors as the world’s biggest carmaker.

Auto Analyst Chris Richter says they might reach that goal post next year.

CHRIS RICHTER: “They are beating back their uncompetitive American rivals, which is allowing them to gain quite a bit of market share with superior pricing.”

Last month, for the first time Toyota outsold Ford in the United States. Richter says the Japanese automaker is doing a lot right.

RICHTER: “I mean, where do you start? They keep the product line up newer, they introduce more models., they have more efficient production.”

Higher gas prices also help Toyota capitalize on its reputation for fuel efficiency.

Richter says the hybrid Prius isn’t yet adding a lot to profits because it’s expensive to make. But it does help Toyota market itself as the car of choice for drivers who want to save money at the pump.

I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.