GM (GM) Cedes Largest Automaker Title; Ford (F) Faring Better in Europe

January 28, 2013 12:06 PM EST
Seems like everyone is beating General Motors (NYSE: GM) lately.

Toyota (NYSE: TM) said global deliveries hit 9.75 million in 2012, outpacing 9.29 million delivered by GM in 2012 and 9.07 million at Volkswagen (OTCBB: VLKAY). The Japanese automaker is aiming for deliveries of 9.91 million units for 2013, banking on international sales being bolstered by a weaker yen.

GM ceded the title of world's largest automaker to Toyota in 2008, but regained it in 2011 as Toyota was still feeling the fallout from unintended acceleration cases as well as overall quality coming into question.

In other news, Ford (NYSE: F) is expected to be mounting a rebound in Europe, one of the key markets that has hampered both automakers with recent weakness in the market. Ford, which reports quarterly results on Tuesday, is expected to post a $1.5 billion loss for Europe in 2012, with a similar result in 2013.

However, Bloomberg noted today that Ford CFO Bob Shanks is expecting those losses to be nonexistent in about two years. Commenting at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Shanks noted that Ford's efforts to move into more fuel-efficient vehicles and restructure the company in 2005 has been paying off in the long-run, with Ford not needing to take bailout funds in 2009.

Ford will close about three plants in Europe and trim 6,200 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce. There is also plans to basically revamp the whole lineup in Europe over the next year to year-and-a-half, with the introduction of the Mustang being one of the bigger highlights.

GM has been looking to cut costs at Opel, with several plant closures taking place in Germany. The company announced plans to cut costs by $500 million per year last October, sending shares higher over the last few months. But, until a firmer plan is in place, GM might be one year behind Ford's with its European revival.

Shares of GM are down 0.8 percent Monday.

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