Japan’s Toyota motor corporation has moved a step closer to toppling General Motors as the worlds biggest carmaker, after outselling its American rival by 90,000 units in the first quarter. Industry watchers say they expected Toyota to challenge General Motors for the top spot in global sales, a place occupied by the Detroit based company for 76 years.
Toyota sold 2.348 million vehicles worldwide in the January-March quarter. Passing the 2.26 million cars GM sold in the same period. Toyota has been gaining on General Motors in recent years. While the Americans have struggled to bolster earnings with job cuts and plant closures.
Toyota has expanded rapidly thanks in part to the popularity of its fuel efficient cars. But it is in America where the Japanese are making inroads their share of the US market has climbed to 16 percent with GM at 22 percent and Ford at 17. As it stands General Motors may be celebrating its centenary in 2008 having been deposed as the world biggest car manufacturer.