How Toyota Took on GM, Only to Remain in a Tenuous First Place

Toyota has battled for decades to earn the coveted ranking of largest automaker in the world. GM was the undisputed world’s biggest car manufacturer from 1931 until it fizzled out in 2008. Finally, in 2008, Toyota took the top spot. It was on top of the world. But shortly thereafter, Toyota fell and fell hard.

Due to issues with its car mats and accelerators, Toyota had to announce major worldwide recalls. The company also has had to endure a series of lawsuits by the families of victims. Toyota may have gotten too big too fast and lost its quality control in the process.

The good news is that many of the accusations have been proven false, and many crashes were later proven to be driver error rather than quality control issues. The company has gone to great lengths to earn its reputation for reliability back, having launched a major public relations campaign. Toyota recently announced plans to expand its line-up of vehicles.

Within the next two years, Toyota plans to sell new and different electric and hybrid vehicles. It announced its plans for a plug-in Prius that will be able to travel more than 10 miles on battery power alone, but it will be more expensive than the current Prius on the market.

Because Toyota remains committed to resolving any issues that may or may not be manufacturing related, and because it is mounting a serious campaign to reinvigorate its credibility with the public, Toyota will ultimately remain a top world automaker. Toyota still has a legion of loyal followers and will gain new customers with its innovative plug-in offerings.

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