But some U.S analysts remain skeptical -- if for no other reason than the company's performance in the U.S., where it believes it can triple sales. "They continue to let people down when it comes
to quality and reliability," points out Rebecca Lindland, head of the auto unit for consultant IHS Global Insight.
But getting to No. 1 may not really matter, other analysts say; it's the spirit that counts. "It's very, very important for a company that's as big as a midsize state to get people moving," says Christoph Stürmer, director of IHS Global Insight's auto group in Germany. "Striving for No. 1, to get after Toyota, is the right vision. It's amazing what it does for the organization."