It's been a long time coming - all 76-years of it. Toyota has finally overtaken GM as the world's largest vehicle manufacturer.
Selling over 2.348-million vehicles during the first quarter of 2007, Toyota exceeded GM's 2.26-million vehicle sales. Toyota's sales figure includes sales from Lexus, Daihatsu, Scion and Hino Motors Limited. GM's figure also includes sales from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel, Saab and over five other brands.
Toyota's claim to fame and record selling streak includes their best-selling Camry and Corolla. To keep up with record demand for their vehicles, Toyota is increasing its production capacity worldwide, with an ambition to take a 15% market share by 2010.
All this while GM lays off 30,000 workers, closes plants and attempts to recover from drastic losses over the past two years.
This is quite possibly one of the biggest turning points in the automotive industry. Toyota is expected to post a net profit of 1.55-trillion yen (~AU$15.6-billion), whilst GM on the other hand lost US$3-billion in 2006 (~AU$3.6-billion) and over US$12-billion (~AU$14.4-billion) the year before.
It will be an interesting year for Toyota, both in Australia and worldwide. Australia expects to see the arrival of several new models, including the new Corolla, Aurion TRD, Kluger and Lexus LS460.