Get those big foam fingers ready, Toyota fans - the Japanese automaker looks set to vault into the global #1 spot sooner than later. The automaker is now predicting that worldwide sales will grow 11 percent in 2008, to 9.8 million units. General Motors, the current number one, sold 9.17 million units in 2005.

Toyota also revised its profit forecast Wednesday. Upward. By over 31 percent. In a blinding flash of the obvious, a senior VP at Fuji Investment Management called the new numbers "impressive" and went out on a limb to say, "I think Toyota is a buy." However, most of the increased profit can be attributed to the continued weakness of the Japanese yen.

Toyota plans to fuel continued growth with strategic new products, including a low-cost vehicle for emerging markets, particularly in Asia, and flex-fuel vehicles for the booming Brazilian market. In more-developed markets, we can expect continued development of plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. In the near term, the North American market is the target of a major push into the full-size truck market and expansion of the Scion brand.

[Source: Reuters]

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