Toyota will come within striking distance this year of General Motors No. 1 U.S. market share position, while 2009 U.S. light-vehicle sales fall to 9.5 million units, a forecasting firm predicted today.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.s 2010 market share will edge out GM's, IHS Global Insights forecasters said today on a conference call. GM will keep its title this year with a 17.9 percent share, IHS said. Next year, Toyota's projected 17.6 percent share will top GM's 17.3 percent.
Through April, GMs share had slipped 2.7 points from a year earlier to 19.2 percent. Toyotas dropped 0.3 points to 16.1 percent.
Seasonally adjusted annual sales rates, which fell from 15.4 million units in February 2008 to 9.1 million a year later, will not improve much this year, the forecasters said. Last month, SAAR had improved to 9.5 million units -- and thats what it will average for the year, they said.
Thats the lowest sales total since the 1960s, said George Magliano, IHS director of North American automotive research. Annual sales have already plunged from 16.2 million in 2007 to 13.2 million last year.
Its going to be a slow, long climb back to recovery, Magliano said.
The monthly SAAR wont climb to 10 million until September, IHS forecasts show. Next years total will improve slightly, to 11.3 million.
Annual sales wont match 2007 levels until 2013, Magliano said. But that wont represent a full recovery, as a rising population of U.S. vehicle operators will reduce the number of sales per driver.
Said Magliano: Essentially, what were looking at here is something that falls further and doesnt come back all the way.