Toyota has once again become the world’s largest car manufacturer, overtaking General Motors, whose sales fell by nearly 11 per cent in 2008.
Toyota and GM have been trading first place for some time, but the difference in sales has been extremely close. But GM’s massive drop in sales, compared with Toyota’s relatively modest 4 per cent fall, has left the Japanese manufacturer as the undisputed market leader.
The gap now stands at 616,000 units, after General Motors sold 8.36 million vehicles compared to Toyota’s 8.97 million sales.
Both companies suffered sales drops in their domestic markets, with Toyota sales falling by seven per cent and General Motors’s down 22.7 per cent. Toyota’s US sales were also down by over 15 per cent.
The decline in Toyota’s sales is the company’s first in a decade, and comes after a record 2007 when sales rose to 9.37 million vehicles.