Toyota Lusts for Canada's Second Largest Automaker Spot

Toyota Motor Corporation has an enthusiastic plan for 2009, despite the fact that the automotive industry experiences one of the biggest economic crisis in history: the Japanese company aims to become the second largest automaker in Canada. A preliminary report shows that Toyota sold more than 224,000 cars and trucks in 2008 in Canada, The Financial Post wrote today, which unveils a 11 percent increase when compared to the previous year. This means that Toyota snatches the Canada second largest automaker spot, detrimental to Chrysler and Ford Motor, the source added.

General Motors is currently the leader of the Canadian automotive industry, with Chrysler taking the second place last year. However, the economic downturn and the lack of credits hurt both Chrysler and Ford, two powerful companies that experienced problems on most emerging markets.

"This would be a first. Chrysler on rare occasions has beaten Ford for the number two position but never has a foreign-based manufacturer come in second in the Canadian market,” industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers was quoted as saying by The Financial Post.

And Toyota is indeed a powerful rival in Canada, according to figures given by the Japanese company, with sales of the company's hybrids, including here the popular Prius, increased by 34 percent. Several other Canadian models, such as Corolla and Lexus RX, also sold well, Toyota spokesman Sandy Di Felice commented.

"Toyota's coming off great momentum and they have a strong product line," said Chris Travell, vice president of Maritz Research's Automotive Group in Canada. "It's just now a question of what's going to happen in the macro-economic environment. If the Canadian economy tanks, Toyota will not be immune from that. No one will be."

On the other hand, Toyota recently reported the first ever annual operating loss, with a number of cost-cutting measures supposed to preserve cash and jobs at facilities all around the world. The Japanese company yesterday announced it will cease production of two new plants in Thailand and Russia, respectively, in order to be able to align its offering with the market demand.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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