Toyota, GM In Tie for Top Automaker

Tie highlights two companies headed in opposite directions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 9:28 AM CST
Toyota vehicles wait in line at an intersection in Tokyo's ministry area of Kasumigaseki Thursday, July 5, 2007. Steadily, relentlessly, quietly. Toyota is closing in on dethroning General Motors, the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Toyota has finally caught up with GM, after years of growing roughly five times as fast. GM’s sales rose 3% in 2007, to 9,369,524 vehicles, but it was only enough to tie Toyota, which last week announced sales of approximately 9.37 million, ending GM’s 76-year reign  atop the world’s automakers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Since 2000, GM’s US sales have fallen 22%, while Toyota’s have surged 61%, to wrench second place away from Ford. To compensate, GM has been expanding overseas; international sales made up 59% of its 2007 total. The race looks poised to go Toyota’s way, since the Japanese company predicts 5% growth in 2008.