While Toyota Motors ( TM , quote ) was treading water due to flooding in both Thailand and Japan, Volkswagen Audi ( VLKAY , quote ) was racing ahead to become the top-selling car maker for the year. In another blow, an article in the Financial Times reported that South Korea's Hyundai Motors ( HYMLF , quote ) and Kia Motors ( KIMTF , quote ) were now setting the standard for vehicles from Asia.
Toyota "expects its sales to surge by a fifth next year as production returns to normal and new models and emerging markets drive growth after a year scarred by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand," reports in article in The Wall Street Journal by Yoshio Takahashi.
Takahashi's piece, "Toyota Forecasts Sharp Rebound After Tough 2011," predicts that final sales for Toyota will lag behind Volkswagen (VLKAY). If that transpires, that will end a three-year reign for Toyota (TM) leading the world in vehicle sales.
To overcome this, as noted in The Wall Street Journal by Takahashi, "Toyota will likely have to overtake GM and VW, which are both looking to sustain their own momentum, amid a stubbornly strong yen."
These factors have already led to Moodys downgrading Toyota Motors (TM) recently.
Nevertheless, Toyota Motors has set a goal of 10 million vehicle sales in the near future.
That has never been reached by an automaker before and is more than 25% above the 7.9 million Toyota will sell in 2011. As detailed in articles on www.emergingmoney.com , there will be stiff competition from other carmakers.
In addition, lagging growth in China and India was felt in auto sales around the world.
The exchange-traded fund, First Trust Global Auto Index ( CARZ , quote ), is off about one-third for the year -- largely as the Western manufacturers that export so many cars to the emerging world stumble.