Toyota Chased by GM, Volkswagen, on the Sales Chart

Financial crisis, recall, recall, recall, earthquake, tsunami... Manmade and natural disaster that have nearly brought to its knees the biggest auto producer in the world, Toyota. Disasters that have crippled Toyota, enough to make competitors smell blood in the water.

For more than a year now, German auto group Volkswagen has made a goal out of surpassing Toyota by 2018. A goal it pursues relentlessly, making all the brands that make up the group work at full throttle.
Somewhere in the mist, however, another danger lurks. One which goes by the name of GM. A danger that, according to analysts, might beat Volkswagen to it and pass Toyota not in 2018, but this year, and in the ones preceding the middle of the decade.

Overall, the Japanese auto production capacity has been reduced by a huge 62 percent, making the March event the biggest disaster in history for one of the country's most important industries. Toyota has no hope of bringing back the production levels of the pre-tsunami era before the start of November.

Toyota said in a statement released earlier this month that production in Japan would begin at nearly normal levels up in July. In August, the plants in the US will follow, with full and normal production expected to begin by November or December 2011, nearly a year after disaster struck.

On the bright side, if there's any, Toyota will have at least one thing going for it, should GM take the throne: it took a natural calamity to stop it from dominating the world.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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