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Toyota Is Now The Largest Carmaker In The World

Aug 18, 2007
The title now belongs to - Toyota!

According to Robert Farago of the Truth About Cars who claimed to have parroted what a Toyota spokesman said, Toyota has finally achieved the status as the world's largest automaker. The Japanese giant's victory comes after nipping at the General's heels at number two for a good while now. Mr. Farago's point has been verified by those arbiters of all info relevant and accurate - AutoBlog.

But the numbers are still very close. GM could snatch back the title by posting a strong second quarter. But that, of course, remains to be seen.

In 2006, The General and all his yes-men (Hummer, Opel, Saab, et al.) sold 9.18 million units. Toyota and all its subsidiaries (Daihatsu, Lexus, et al.) parted with 9.02 millions, comparatively. The Japanese juggernaut plans on churning out as many as 9.34 million sales this year. The figure was about 160,000 cars which represents last year's difference in global sales between General Motors and Toyota according to Detroit News.

Toyota Motor Corporation not only unseated Ford for the World's No. 2 spot last year, but it also managed to unseat the General for top automaker du monde, according to a Detroit News report sited by Reuters. The report suggested that General Motors tried to bulk up its total sales tally by counting the vans it sold in conjunction with Chinese firm Shanghai Automotive - a company in which GM owns less than a 50% stake. Ouch.

Rather than contesting its top spot, ToMoCo just quietly did what ToMoCo quietly does - make and sell lots of cars (8.8 million last year), efficiently. By the new numbers, Toyota outsold GM by some 128,000 units.

Since Toyota is known the world over as mass-market maker of cars, trucks, and SUVs that go from A to B reliably (unless your Tundra or Sequoia have been suffering from suspension troubles). What Toyota is not known for - not since the days of the Supra at least - is for being the motoring enthusiast's carmaker of choice.

But that is set to change with the premiere of the Lexus LF-A "supercar," Toyota's efforts in F1 racing, and the Japanese carmakers bold entry into that previously all-American driving sport - NASCAR.

While it's unlikely that Toyota will turn a cold shoulder on its core clientele of Consumer Reports subscribing pragmatists, the company's overtures to the racing set marks a new direction for the world's second largest car manufacturer. This may help keep them in top position.
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The author writes about Audi A7 and blogs at http://www.4driversonly.com/.
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