Toyota Punts 3% Sales Growth for '08 Prediction
The [literally] rivet counting debate over whether or not one should include the Scion brand in Toyota's sales totals– to determine whether or not Toyota's overtaken Ford as America's top automotive brand– seems to have sailed straight over the media's head. In the hangover morning after December's dismal new car sales results, the mainstream press has pronounced Toyota the new champ. The news ain't all good for ToMoCo. Reality has forced them to rein-in their previous '08 throw-down, where they predicted a three percent sales growth for '08. The Wall Street Journal reports that company spokesman Irv Miller told some industry types that a "confluence of factors," including a widespread credit crunch, high gasoline prices, a housing downturn and "critically fragile consumer confidence" has forced his employer to revise the number downwards. The Japanese automaker says it's now looking at a one to two percent gain for the year. Echoing GM's spinmeisters, contradicting most every gainfully employed financial analyst, Miller reckons sales will rebound in the second half of '08. Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle says sales of Toyota's Texas-built Tundra fell short of the company's 200k target by 3,445 trucks. "Like the rest of the industry, the full-size pickup segment saw its fair share of challenges in 2007," said Toyota brand manager Bob Carter. Hell boy, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
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