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The car industry


Toyota worth $210bn, GM worth $18bn, despite similar sales

Fifty years ago the Big 3 US carmakers (GM, Ford, Chrysler) dominated the industry, both in the US and worldwide.

GM alone produced half the cars made in the US, and employed 500,000 workers. Its only worry was that it was so powerful it would be broken up by the US government on anti-trust grounds.

But from the 1980s, their market share has plummeted, hit by the oil crisis and the rise of Japanese imports.

Now their share of their home market in the US has declined dramatically as new, leaner producers like Toyota have entered the market, producing more environmentally friendly and reliable cars.

GM and Ford are cutting thousands of jobs and closing plants, while Toyota is building one new plant each year.

As GM and Ford has racked up huge losses in the past few years, their financial ratings have shrunk. Toyota is now worth 10 times as much as GM on the stock market.

Now Toyota is set to overtake GM as the world's largest carmaker, ending 70 years of dominance.

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