Toyota Now World's Largest Automaker

Toyota sales are 8.97 million to GM's 8.35 million

General Motors fell behind Toyota as the world's largest automaker, selling 8.35 million vehicles globally last year compared to Toyota's 8.97 million, sales figures showed on Jan. 21.

The new figures ended GM's 77-year run as the top selling automaker despite the American giant's record-setting sales performance in Latin America, Africa and Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, according to GM's figures.

It was also despite a third consecutive year of two million vehicles sold in Europe.

Toyota said on Jan. 20 its global sales fell four percent in 2008 to 8.97 million vehicles, the first drop in a decade, as demand slumped in recession-hit markets such as Japan, Europe and the U.S. t was their first decline since 1998.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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