Whenever we talk about GM's performance in the global market, people invariably want to hear about how well Toyota is doing in the same arena. The Japanese automaker has been nipping at the General's heels in terms of the number of units each automaker has sold globally so far this year. Earlier in the year, Toyota actually surpassed GM in global sales, but the American auto giant has since regained the lead in year-to-date global sales and keeps it through Q3.

On a global scale, Toyota performed quite well in its own fiscal second quarter, which is the same period as the calendar year third quarter for most companies. During this period, Toyota earned its second highest ever operating profit of $5.01 billion, but its North American figures were hurt by a few factors, chief among them being incentives required to increase sales of its Tundra full-size pickup. Higher raw material costs and, of course, the subprime market meltdown are also contributing factors.

Regardless, Toyota isn't budging on how many vehicles it expects to sell worldwide during its fiscal year that ends March 31, 2008. In fact, it's raised its target to 8.93 million units, up some 40,000 units from previous estimates. Seems that despite recent bumps in the road concerning quality concerns over the car and trucks it sells in the U.S., Toyota's juggernaut keeps on steaming ahead.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]