Toyota vs. Chevy for Brand Leadership: Chevy WinsBy Michelle Krebs January 4, 2008
Toyota and General Motors are in a you-know-what match about who owns brand leadership for 2007: Toyota or Chevrolet.
Weâll settle the argument: Chevrolet.
Toyotaâs argument to count Scion in Toyota Division sales doesnât wash.
Toyota wants to count sales from its Scion brand â and, yes, Toyota has long called it a brand; weâll haul out the old press releases to prove it. Adding in Scion, indeed, would put Toyota ahead of Chevrolet (see numbers below). Without Scion, Chevy wins.
Toyota claims legitimacy in counting Scion in its Toyota Division sales totals because Scion models are sold in Toyota showrooms exclusively. Toyota spokesman Xavier Dominicis told the Detroit News: "We've always counted it that way, and it's sold only at Toyota dealerships."
Toyota is the one of the few that counts sales that way.
Obviously, GM doesnât count Toyotaâs way. "We don't consider Scion a part of the Toyota brand," said Chevrolet spokesman Terry Rhadigan. "On our scoreboard, we're leading."
It appears only Toyota â and Autodata Corp. includes Scion in its Toyota-brand total. Edmunds.com breaks out Scion as a separate brand. So does J. D. Power and Associates. Tom Libby, an analyst for J. D. Power, told the Detroit News: "I don't think for a second that Scion is a Toyota vehicle; it's clearly its own brand.â He added: âYou might as well count Pontiac vehicles as Chevrolet sales if you think Scion's a Toyota."
Indeed. Using Toyotaâs logic, Lincoln and Mercury would count as one brand since Mercurys are sold exclusively in Lincoln showrooms. Automotive News recently profiled the last Mercury-only dealership, now going out of business. So, today, all Mercury models are sold from Lincoln showrooms.
Toyota, you canât have it both ways. Scion is a brand. Youâve said so. Scion vehicles wear no Toyota badges, and they are marketed completely differently from Toyotas.
Plus arenât you being greedy grabbing titles. Isnât No. 2 U.S. automaker and possible global auto leader enough for now?
Toyota could have the brand leadership title soon enough, since it is narrowing the gap with Chevrolet. Only about 100,000 vehicles -- minus Scion -- separated the two brands.
The 2008 Toyota-Chevy race will be one to watch. Chevrolet will count heavily on the Malibu to keep it in front, while Toyota introduces new models to outpace Chevrolet.
Toyota Division vs. Chevrolet Division - 2007
Toyota (with Scion) 2,291,648
Toyota (minus Scion) 2,161,467
Chevy vs. Toyota w/Scion difference 26,007 (Advantage: Toyota)
Chevy vs. Toyota w/out Scion difference 104,174 (Advantage: Chevy)
Scion sales in 2007 totaled 130,181
Analysis provided by Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com manager of pricing and market analysis