Toyota Closes Iin on Ford's No. 2 Rank
Toyota Motor Corp., which topped the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG in sales for the first time in August, may dethrone Ford Motor Co. as the world's second-biggest automaker within two years, analysts say, the Chicago Tribune reported.Toyota is adding plants in Texas and Mexico, while Ford plans capacity cuts, according to the Tribune.In the first half of the year, Toyota trailed Ford in global sales by 100,000 vehicles, down from 250,000 in the same period of 2002. The gap shrank as Toyota's U.S. sales surged 4.8 percent this year. They grew 11 percent in August alone, jumping ahead of Chrysler for the first time."In North America, while Toyota is expanding, Ford is closing plants and losing half a million units of capacity. Do the arithmetic," said George Magliano, director of auto research for market forecaster Global Insight in Waltham, Mass.Asian and European automakers gained almost 1 percentage point of market share in the U.S. during the first eight months of 2003, to a record 40 percent. Toyota increased its share to 11.2 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from a year ago. Chrysler's share fell 0.4 percentage points, to 13 percent. Ford's share fell 0.7, to 19.4 percent, according to the Tribune.