Toyota has revealed that it sold 9.37 million vehicles worldwide in 2007, which amounts to a 6% increase. Though General Motors won't release its worldwide sales for 2007 until January 23rd, speculation has already begun that it wasn't able to hold off Toyota's aggressive growth and will cede its title of World's Best-Selling Automaker to the Japanese automaker for the 2007 calendar year. Though the world certainly won't end if this happens, GM has held that title for the last 76 years straight. Analysts predict that GM will report 2007 global sales of around 9.3 million vehicles, so the victor really depends on the margin of error.

Both automakers are downplaying the significance of this moment, which is smart. Each should be focused on improving their businesses, and from our view in the cheap seats, it appears they are. General Motors product portfolio is improving by the day, as evident by the steaming pile of praise heaped upon its two newest U.S. offerings, the 2008 Chevy Malibu and Cadillac CTS. Meanwhile, it's brands are growing in overseas markets like Europe and China. Toyota, meanwhile, just keeps growing... everywhere.

Even if GM gives up the top spot of the podium for 2007, expect 2008 and beyond to be just as heated. Toyota is predicting growth, again, to 9.85 million sales in 2008. While many believe GM sales may slip further in 2008, resurgent sales in the U.S. for its passenger cars could help balance things out. We'll convene here next year and let you know.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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