The US auto market, since the 1930s dominated by the triumvirate of General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler, is on course to admit an oriental carmaker to the elite trinity.
Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan will oust DaimlerChrysler (now a German-American entity) from the victors' podium before the end of the decade, according to auto industry intelligence specialist CSM Worldwide.
By 2009, Toyota (including sub-brands Lexus and Scion) will account for 14.1% of the US market, according to CSMW's long-range forecast. This will edge the Japanese firm ahead of DaimlerChrysler's 14%.
Predicts CSMW's Joe Barker: "Robust growth from Toyota will stem from an unrelenting product offensive, an intensified effort in the luxury market, incremental volume from Scion and strong brand equity."
Sales rankings for the year to November show GM in pole position with 27.5% market share; Ford with 19.7%; DaimlerChrysler 14.3%; and Toyota 12.2%.
In 2003 the latter upped US sales by 6.3%. And in the first eleven months of 2004, the Japanese giant has hiked sales by 9.3%.
It already occupies the runner-up position behind GM in worldwide auto sales [WAMN: 26-Jan-04].
Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff