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What's that Bruce Springsteen song? "Glory Days?" You know where this is going, and if you don't, take a seat. America is no longer the largest auto market in the world. The People's Republic of China is. Mao would be so... proud is not the right word.

So far this year, increased car sales in the U.K. and Italy -- two of the biggest markets in Europe -- along with a rising tide across Central and Eastern Europe, have contributed to a 1.9-percent increase in car consumption across the Atlantic. While the U.S. has traditionally been the world leader in units of vehicles sold, with some 16 million leaving dealer lots in 2006, that might change come the end of this year.

Stepping back from July's detailed sales data for a moment, at the big picture level it's worth noting that July marked the first time that Toyota sold more cars in the U.S. than Ford. Furthermore, year to date sales figures show that Toyota has outsold DaimlerChrysler (Chrysler Group and Mercedes-Benz combined) in the U.S. market.

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