Quick: Who is the world's largest automaker? General Motors or Toyota? Last year, the two brands were in a statistical dead heat after sales for all of 2007 were tallied, and debates raged as to which one of the two global giants had outsold the other. This year, there's no argument. The winner of the 2008 sales crown was Toyota by over 600,000 units (exact figures are due a bit later). This is quite an accomplishment for the Japanese automaker and reinforces the fact that GM's sales have been in decline for the last couple of decades after crushing all competitors and reigning as the worldwide leader in auto sales for 77 years. Still, the mood is hardly one of jubilation at Toyota as the rise to the top has not been without sacrifice. The automaker has lost both money and market share over the last few months, and the outlook for 2009 isn't shaping up to be much better.

[Source: CNN]