Toyota Poised to Overtake GM

Plans to build 9.95 million vehicles, widen lead as largest automaker
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 25, 2007 8:00 AM CST
Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe speaks to reporters during the annual year-end press conference in Nagoya, central Japan, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. Toyota, in a neck-and-neck race that could...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Toyota, the most profitable automaker in the world, says it will increase production by 5% to a record 9.95 million vehicles in 2008, opening up a lead over General Motors, Reuters reports. Toyota, which sold 9.36 million vehicles in 2007, also expects sales to increase 5% in 2008 to 9.85 million units.

GM hasn’t released year-end sales figures, but estimates selling 9.26 million vehicles, ending its 70-year-reign as largest automaker. The two companies are in a nip-and-tuck battle for the top spot this year—Toyota led for the first six months, but GM took the lead in September. Toyota is hoping to surpass GM’s 30-year-old record for sales of 9.55 million vehicles.