Toyota Motor Corp. continued to steal U.S. market share from the Big 3 automakers, reporting a 12% YoY sales gain for March, as it watched its sales jump to 242,675 vehicles on strong hybrid sales. The company sold 61,635 of the gas efficient vehicles, up 68% from last year's first quarter. In contrast, the Big 3 each reported YoY drops in sales in March. General Motors reported a 4% sales drop to a total of 345,418 light vehicles, while cutting its 2Q production forecast for N. America. Meanwhile, Ford reported its sales fell 9% to 264,975 cars and light trucks; F-Series pickup truck sales dropped 15%. DaimlerChrysler, whose shareholder's begin their annual meeting today, reported a 4.6% YoY sales drop with 206,435 vehicles sold - the first time it surpassed the 200,000 mark in a single month since March 2006.
Sources: Playfuls.com, Bloomberg, AP, Detroit Free Press
Commentary: The Rise of Toyota and the Demise of the American Auto Industry • Target Marketing: Toyota's Lexus Makeover • GM Vehicle Sales, U.S. Market Share Rise; Japan's 'Big 3' Continue to Roll
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Toyota (NYSE:TM), GM (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), DaimlerChrysler (DCX). Competitors: Honda (NYSE:HMC), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY)
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