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Toyota gunning for No. 1

GM, the world's largest auto maker, has held the top slot for about 75 years now, but according to analysts Toyota has been on track to knock GM off its pedestal ever since they passed Ford in 2003. The only question is when. It may not be a question much longer if the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai is correct. Yesterday, they reported that Toyota will boost its overseas production by 40 percent to 5 million vehicles by 2008, however, they didn't name a source for the information.

The AP reports that according to the released plan, Toyota will increase its production in North America by 20 percent to 1.84 million vehicles with new plants planned in Texas and Canada. In China, the Japanese auto giant plans to raise production to 600,000, a 4-fold increase. In Japan, production is expected to rise to 4.15 million vehicles while in the rest of Asia the Japanese auto giant will raise production to over 1 million vehicles.

While America's Big 3 have all announced production cuts, both Toyota and Honda are experiencing record sales and both seem well perched to swoop in to fill the fuel-efficient void left by the domestic auto makers.

[Source: Associated Press via MSNBC]

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